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Lawyer Ralph Anderson arrives in Tula, an amazingly remote town in the desert, as reluctant emissary of mob chief Victor Massonetti, who wants the airstrip clear for his unofficial exit from the country. Ralph's arrival has a profound effect on his estranged father, the sheriff; his brother Tip, an alcoholic deputy; and his ex-sweetheart Linda, now married to Tip. Tension builds as a small army of gangsters takes over the town. Then the situation abruptly changes... Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
'The Trap (1959)' is a rather obscure crime thriller, but nevertheless has some star-power behind it. Richard Widmark is Ralph Anderson, a prodigal son returning to his hometown in the middle of the California desert. Lee J. Cobb is Victor Massonetti, a fugitive mob-boss intent on boarding a private plane to Mexico. When Ralph and his alcoholic brother Tippy (who is unhappily married to Ralph's ex-flame, Linda) capture Massonetti, the gangster's Mafia affiliates go into overdrive. With just a single dirt road leading out of town to civilisation, getting Massonetti into the hands of the authorities isn't going to be pleasant or easy. Just like John Sturges' wonderful 'Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)', this film has all the trademarks of a Western, but is set in modern times. As the escort winds its way across the lonely, parched landscape, you can cut the tension with a knife. Cobb is a formidable villain, his silent glowers and snide threats from the backseat proving both entertaining and unsettling. Tina Louise is certainly alluring as the love interest torn between two brothers, and Carl Benton Reid is impressive as Ralph and Tippy's overbearing sheriff father. And just to prove that Bruce Willis has nothing on his forebears, Widmark takes out a plane with a car!
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