The Steel Trap (1952)

The Steel Trap [1952]
The Steel Trap [1952] – Image
“The difference between the honest and the dishonest, the stupid and the smart, is a debatable line.” In this criminally overlooked film noir/thriller directed by Andrew L. Stone, Joseph Cotten portrays mild-mannered assistant bank manager “Jim Osborne,” who lives a rather mundane existence with his wife “Laurie” (Teresa Wright) and daughter in Los Angeles. One day Osborne comes up with a crazy idea that consumes his thoughts – he will rob the bank safe of $1 million on a Friday afternoon and flee with his wife to Brazil over the weekend before the theft is discovered on Monday (he believes that he will be able to send for his daughter once they are safely out of the country). As you might expect, as soon as Osborne transfers all of the money from the bank vault into his suitcase, everything that could possibly go wrong DOES go wrong! In addition, Osborne doesn’t even bother to tell his wife what he did (she thinks she is accompanying him on a business trip to Rio de Janeiro!). The couple ends up stuck in New Orleans as Osborne desperately attempts to get on the next flight to Rio and his wife begins to suspect that this is no ordinary business trip. The film is filled with a series of tense moments that keep the viewer on edge since we’re in the awkward position of rooting for this guy to succeed with his crime. The tagline screamed, “For the Love of a Woman, He Stole $1,000,000!” Cotten and Wright also starred together in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1943 thriller Shadow of a Doubt.

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