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The Steel Trap (1952)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 12 November 1952 (USA)
A Bank officer discovers a flaw in the U.S. extradition treaty with Brazil and decides to take advantage of it. On Friday, he steals a million dollars from the bank, knowing it won't be ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Jim Osborne
...
Laurie Osborne
Jonathan Hale ...
Tom Bowers
...
Customs Inspector
Eddie Marr ...
Ken Woodley
...
Briggs, airline clerk
Katherine Warren ...
Mrs. Kellogg
Tom Powers ...
Valcourt, Travel Agent
Stephanie King ...
Susan Osborne
Aline Towne ...
Gail Woodley
Hugh Sanders ...
Mr. Greer, Passport clerk
Marjorie Stapp ...
Travel Agent
...
Raglin, Bank Teller #2
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Storyline

A Bank officer discovers a flaw in the U.S. extradition treaty with Brazil and decides to take advantage of it. On Friday, he steals a million dollars from the bank, knowing it won't be missed until the bank opens on the following Monday. He and his wife, who doesn't know what he has done, then take a flight to Brazil. After some difficulties, they get as far as New Orleans, where his wife discovers the reason for their flight and what he has done. She leaves him and returns home. He is now alone with his conscience, and doesn't know if he can get back and return the money to the bank's vault before the start of business on Monday. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

For the Love of a Woman, He Stole $1,000,000!


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

12 November 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Stahlfalle  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the second movie that Joseph Cotton and Teresa Wright are in together. They were previously in Alfred Hitchcock's 'Shadow of a Doubt' (1943) as uncle and niece. See more »

Goofs

Several times it is noted by airline personnel that the suitcase with the cash weighs 115 pounds, and yet neither Cotton nor others who handle it have any trouble picking it up, as if it weighed no more than 30 or 40. Picking up 100 pounds with one hand, without straining, is not easy, and cannot be done without showing effort. See more »

Soundtracks

You Mean So Much To Me
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Lyrics by Stan Jones
Sung by Helen Humes
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User Reviews

 
A Real Nail-Biter
5 January 2012 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

A nail-biter from beginning to end. Bank officer Osborne (Cotten) yields to temptation and steals a million bucks from his bank. Except to complete the theft, he's got to get to Rio before the bank opens on Monday. That means he's got to get a passport and make plane connections with only moments to spare. Thanks to him, I left a bucket of sweat on my living room couch.

So why hasn't this little sleeper been repeated more often on TV. It sure as heck merits an audience, even among today's digital addicts. It's an expertly observed, tightly written, fluidly paced little thriller. Director Stone was known for insisting on location staging. His insistence here pays off with an everyday realism that heightens the petty annoyances threatening to undo Osborne's daring scheme.

So the banker's got a million in cash in that suitcase to get out of the country. But then life's minor delays and hang-ups intrude, becoming major headaches for both him and us. Just listen to the airline stewardess cackle while we wait and wait to take off, or watch the booking agent fumble around while we squirm and squirm. The filming is like a microscope held up to everyday irritants that suddenly assume gigantic proportions, while a routine escape path turns into a nail-biting obstacle course. Poor Osborne, he'll be in fat city if he doesn't have a nervous breakdown first.

Cotten's fine as the regular Joe looking for a way out of his workday routine. Ditto Wright, as Osborne's compliant wife, the light slowly coming on that this isn't just an ordinary business trip. Also, director Stone managed a number of compact thrillers during this period, including The Night Holds Terror (1955) and Blueprint for Murder (1953). Too bad his skills aren't more widely recognized. Note here how neatly his screenplay completes Osborne's journey with that routine walk home— cast now in a reaffirming light.

I expect I'll catch the film again even though I know how it turns out. But for darn sure, I'll still keep my sweat bucket handy.


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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