When a killer dreams of millions... and a girl to spend them
Dave | Tennessee United States | 07/10/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This mediocre B film noir was released by Eagle Lion production company barely a year after their 1948 smash hit "T-Men". Like the very similar "Port of New York" (-also released by Eagle Lion), it was really a ripoff of "T-Men" and lacked the style, creativity, and excitement that made "T-Men" a classic. "Trapped" was directed by Richard Fleischer, who was well-suited for making low-budget noirs such as "Follow Me Quietly" (1949), "Armored Car Robbery" (1950), "The Narrow Margin" (1952), and "Violent Saturday" (1955).
A young Lloyd Bridges stars as Tris Stewart, a convicted counterfeiter who is offered a chance at early release from prison if he agrees to cooperate with Treasury agents who're trying to track down his former partners-in-crime. He reluctantly agrees to help them but as soon as he's alone with an agent he knocks him out and makes his escape. What he didn't count on was that the agents had already anticipated such an event and they follow him closely, knowing that he'll unwittingly lead them to his counterfeiting ring members. While enjoying his shortlived freedom, he finds his former girlfriend Laurie Fredericks, aka Meg Dixon (Barbara Payton, in her film debut) and they reignite their fiery relationship.
Laurie has no problems with Stewart's dangerous lifestyle, and when she learns of the agents following him closely she tries to warn him, but it proves to be too late. But recapturing Tris is only the beginning for the determined Agent John Downey (John Hoyt), who then sets out to capture his murderous counterfeiting gang. In this movie the T-Men, just like the Canadian Mounties, "always get their man", and the movie's ending is totally predictable and unexciting. It was supposedly based on the same true case that inspired Anthony Mann's classic "T-Men", but the sluggish pace and lack of excitement kept this movie from being a classic B noir.
The movie is worth watching once maybe, just to see luscious Barbara Payton in her impressive debut. Payton, who's real name was Barbara Lee Redfield, appeared in barely over a dozen movies and had her peak in Hollywood in 1950's "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye" with James Cagney. Her career came spiraling downward following several scandalous affairs (many with married men) and a violent battle between Franchot Tone and Tom Neal, who nearly fought to the death over Barbara. She faded into obscurity and eventually became an alcoholic prostitute, dying at the age of 39 on May 8, 1967. As for Lloyd Bridges, he was good playing another bad guy but he just didn't get enough screen time to make this a memorable performance. As for the Alpha dvd, it has an acceptable picture and sound quality. Overall, recommended only for hardcore film noir buffs."
Excellent Film Noir at giveaway price.
Michael J. Aston | 11/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Topnotch quality picture and sound in this DVD film noir,Trapped.Good performances by Lloyd Bridges,John Hoyt and Barbara Payton( She really can act)"
Pretty good little movie for a rainy Sunday afternoon
Johny Bottom | Jacksonville, NC | 04/26/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Trapped is a pretty good movie I think. Lloyd Bridges plays his role well. An escaped, tough con on the run and trying to make one last big score so he and his girlfriend can go to Mexico. Barbera Payton is his girlfriend and man is she a hottie!
The movie starts off with a quick high school type lecture on how money is made and all the other responsibilities of the US Treasury. After that we learn of the evils and perils of counterfitting.
The feds discover a resurgance of counterfit money that had Lloyd locked away. They make a deal with him for early parole if he helps the feds catch the new counterfeiters and recovet the plates.
But Lloyd has other plans. What ensues is a cat and mouse game between the feds and the counterfeiters. When the undercover agent gets his cover blown, the fun really begins.
This is one of those great old flicks that would probably be a blockbuster if it was remade."
Grade B for a "B" Noir
Vincent Tesi | Brick, New Jersey | 06/29/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Directed by Richard Fleischer (Fantastic Voyage, Conan the Destroyer, and Red Sonja) Trapped (1950) is a grade B noir that at times contains impressive stylistic imagery and dialogue, but overall falls short of being a true "underground" B noir classic. For a succint, yet revealing synopsis of the film read the review by Dave. My comments are directed toward a few scenes that detract from the effective realism that exists in other exemplarary noir films. First a stunt double is clearly used for John Hoyt, who portrays the undercover Secret Service agent Hackett in the fight scene between him and Tris (Lloyd Bridges). Later in the film, Hackett, his face showing no effects from the vicious rumble, meets with Mr. Sylvester to arrange another meeting. Wouldn't Mr. Sylvester notice Hackett's facial renmants of his brutal fight? It is worth mentioning here that the three fight scenes in the film are realistically directed and acted. It was pleasing to view a 1950's film fight that did not end with a character being knocked out with one punch. (Why did George Raft, James Cagney, and Humphrey Bogart so often look like boxing champions on the screen?) Other shortcomings of the film were the car scenes. A moving background screen is clearly evident behind the stationary studio vehicle-too cheesy. Why is Tris, who is a prison inmate in his opening scene, not dressed in prison garb? The film's finale also shows amateurish camera work, when the pursuers seem to jump to "fast-motion" when startled by Mr. Sylvester's buzzer blunder. Trapped does not contain the moral struggle that challenges the protagionist in many classic noir films. Instead viewers are introduced to a cold-hearted crimminal, Tris , who Lloyd Bridges plays to the hilt. John Hoyt plays the undercover Secret Service agent who we find is the one that is really trapped. In conclusion, the opening scenes of the film with a narrative of the powers of the U.S.Treasury is well documentated."