Shubunka (Barry Sulivan) is a cynical gangster who controls the Neptune Beach waterfront. He runs a numbers racket with the local soda shop owner. The police are in his pocket and the local hoods are on his payroll.
A Bank officer discovers a flaw in the U.S. extradition treaty with Brazil and decides to take advantage of it. On Friday, he steals a million dollars from the bank, knowing it won't be missed until the bank opens on the following Monday. He and his wife, who doesn't know what he has done, then take a flight to Brazil. After some difficulties, they get as far as New Orleans, where his wife discovers the reason for their flight and what he has done. She leaves him and returns home. He is now alone with his conscience, and doesn't know if he can get back and return the money to the bank's vault before the start of business on Monday.Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Like the previous commentator, it has been many years since viewing this film. In fact, I first saw this film while visiting Denver, Colorado in November of 1971--wow!--that's 35 years ago! I had just arrived in a downtown Denver hotel and was getting ready to take an afternoon nap after the long flight from New Orleans. I decided to turn on the TV and "The Steel Trap" was playing. After watching the action for only a few minutes, I found myself totally engrossed in the plot.
The film made a lasting impression on me, especially the New Orleans setting, as I was living there at the time. The scenes were all familiar places and very nostalgic, bringing to mind the New Orleans I remembered from my childhood of the early 1950's. All of the New Orleans characters and extras spoke in an authentic New Orleanean manner and had the "look" and style of locals.
The dramatic tension in the film was almost unbearable, with Joseph Cotton performing a masterful ex post facto narration. This added to the suspense of the film. It certainly prevented me from taking my planned nap. After the film ended, there was no chance of going to sleep--I was totally awake and mentally back in "the big easy."
I've never been able to locate the film for viewing again, but hope that Netflix or Blockbuster will one day have it available. Apparently, TCM doesn't have it in their portfolio. If you ever get a chance to watch this film, don't miss it--a real noir thriller!
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