Joe Baron is a cop with money problems that seem solved when Joe is assigned to a burglary case involving half a million dollars stolen from a doctor office's safe.The very rich doctor Dr. Horace Van Tilden managed to shoot the intruder during the burglary but the thief is still breathing when the two cops arrive on the scene.On the way to the hospital the burglar reveals to Joe Baron that his target indeed was the half million dollars in the doctor's safe and the combination to the safe.Joe and his partner, Pete Delanos, decide to get to the cash and keep it for themselves.Written by
The Money Trap for me has the distinction of being one of the last B features I ever saw on the big screen as part of a double bill. It is a film way past its prime as a noir picture.
Noir as a genre essentially died little by little as more televisions were in American homes. The kind of stories that noir does best were now being shown on television every night. Movies were getting bigger and splashier to compete with TV and films like the Money Trap were just not being made for theaters any more. Watching it yesterday on TCM, I was struck by the ludicrousness of a letter box version for a black and white noir.
By the way, in 1965 television was about to go full color and black and white feature films were getting rarer each year.
But even as a noir film, The Money Trap has no people you really care about. Glenn Ford is married to a wealthy woman and lives in a lifestyle beyond his cop's salary. But then wife Elke Sommer gets a letter saying her late Daddy's stock won't be paying any dividends. Well golly gee, we should all have such problems.
It never occurs to Glenn Ford to tell Elke to tone down her extravagant ways, maybe even move out of that luxurious home they have to something more modest. Ford's kind of into the good life also.
During a homicide investigation involving a wealthy doctor played by Joseph Cotten who allegedly surprised a burglar in his home, Ford and partner Ricardo Montalban suspect something dicey. Before expiring in the ambulance, the burglar gives Ford the safe combination.
Now knowing something is amiss here. Ford and Montalban decide on a robbery. Of course the doctor is smarter than the both of them put together. The whole thing ends in one bloody mess and the viewer doesn't really care.
A few years later The Money Trap would have been strictly a made for TV feature if it got made at all. Probably MGM was busy trying to get rid of long time contractual obligations to Ford and Montalban. Both of them have sure done better work.
But the saddest thing of all is that this is the last feature film partnership of Glenn Ford and Rita Hayworth. Rita's the best thing in this film, playing a very worn out forty something ex-girlfriend of Ford's and widow of the burglar Cotten shot. A great acting job and not anything a former reigning sex goddess ever did before.
But it ain't enough to save The Money Trap.
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