I don’t know how how this Richard Widmark technicolor drama has escaped me until now. It’s been out on blu ray since 2012 and I am glad to have caught up with it.
The film was co-produced by Widmark’s Heath Productions and Melvin Frank and Norman Panama’s Parkwood Enterprises. Panama directed.
Set in a remote location (the southern Californian desert), Ralph Anderson (Richard Widmark) is a mob lawyer who returns to the small town of Tula where his father Lloyd ( Carl Benton Reid) is the sheriff and his brother Tip (Earl Holliman) is the deputy.
Ralph had left town ten years earlier under a cloud and his girl Linda (Tina Louise) has married his brother.
The reason for Ralph’s return is to persuade his father to take guards of the local airstrip, so gangster Massonetti (Lee J. Cobb) can evade the law and take a private plane to Mexico.
The plot builds as Ralph’s father is killed , phone lines are cut in Tula and Ralph resolves to get Massonetti to the authorities in the town of Barstow.
Younger brother Tip, has a drink problem and his wife, Linda is about to leave him.
Ralph and Tip fight over whether they should let Massonetti go. Massonetti’s gang are tracking them through the desert.
Tina Louise is the weak link in the otherwise good cast. Her acting is pretty wooden.
Massonetti tries to bribe Tip, with a bundle of money.
Ralph rescues Massonetti from the crashed plane near the end of the film.
“The Trap ” is action packed as Richard Widmark fights the odds to bring the mob boss to justice, and redeem himself.(Earlier, he says to Linda, “My clientele is very distinguished. I worked my way up to Massonetti.”)
Widmark and Cobb play their respective antagonistic roles as only they can . Perfectly!
I liked “The Trap” a lot and it’s good to see it in such a good print.