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Man in the Vault (1956)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 12 December 1956 (USA)
A locksmith gets caught up in a bank robbery.



(screenplay), (novel)

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Complete credited cast:
Tommy Dancer
Betty Turner
Flo Randall
Berry Kroeger ...
Willis Trent (as Berry Kroger)
Paul De Camp
Robert Keys ...
Earl Farraday
Nancy Duke ...
Trent's Girl Friend
Pedro (as Gonzales Gonzales)
Vivianne Lloyd ...


There's $200,000 in a Los Angeles safety-deposit box that mobster Willis Trent would like to have, so he gets two-timing, double-dealing Flo Randall to get the box number for him. He offers locksmith Tommy Dancer $5,000 to make the key but Tommy refuses. Trent threatens to harm Tommy's girl friend, Betty Turner, and Tommy gives in and goes to the bank. In a few nerve-racking minutes, Tommy makes the key and pockets the $200,000 for himself. Trent sends word that he has kidnapped Betty and the ransom is $200,000. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Forced into crime to save the girl he loved


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 December 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Mann in der Gruft  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


There really was a Grover's Lock and Key on Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood. Apparently, it was easier to use the existing storefront than create a phony one for the movie. See more »


When Trent and Louie enter Tommy's apartment to offer him the deal, there is a newspaper under the stole that Betty left the night before. After they leave and Tommy retrieves the stole, the newspaper has mysteriously vanished. See more »

Crazy Credits

Veteran heavy Berry Kroeger had his name misspelled in the main credits as "Berry Kroger." See more »


References You Bet Your Life (1950) See more »


Let The Chips Fall Where They May
Written by Dunham Vars and Henry Vars
Sung by Vivianne Lloyd
sung just after Tony unlocks the trunk
See more »

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User Reviews

Suspenseful, but confusing low budget thriller.

Tommy Dancer is a locksmith whose skills do not go unnoticed by mobster Willis Trent. Trent wants Tommy to get into the safe deposit box of a rival mobster. Tommy refuses, despite being offered $5000 and later being roughed up by one of Trents goons. Tommy agrees when he his tipped off by one Trents men that the box contains $200,000 in cash. Tommy decides to go along with the plan, and keep the 200 grand for himself and run off with Trents moll, whom he has fallen in love with.

MAN IN THE VAULT is standard low budget crime thriller from the period made enjoyable by the presence of Berry Kroeger, Paul Fix and Mike Marsurki. William Campbell gives a good performance as Tommy. There are some good moments of suspense, but things get a bit confusing toward the end.

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