Movie: The Steel Trap (1952)

Written and directed by Andrew L. Stone

Joseph Cotten, Theresa Wright

Joseph Cotten is always convincing as the good guy, and as Jim in The Steel Trap, he plays just that. Jim is a banker who has lived in the same house, taken the same train and worked in  the same building for 11 years. Through all the sameness Jim is bored.

Realizing that as one of the management team at the bank, Jim could, if given the nerve, have access to steel over a million dollars from the vault, after the tellers have gone home. Soon the fantasy becomes a reality.

Jim steels the money by simply loading it into a suitcase on a Friday evening. While he and his wife Laurie(Wright) take a last minute flight toward Rio, on the milk-run, the couple find themselves stranded in New Orleans.

Why, Rio you ask? Jim, after researching at the public library discovered Brazil was the only county without an extradition treaty with the United Sates.

Through passport issues, last minute reroutes and hassles, mild mannered Jim can’t keep his cool. He wife believes they are on a two week work vacation, but her husband’s behavior doesn’t quite gel.

When it is discovered that Jim is carrying all that money, his wife questions him. Jim breaks. His angry wife leaves, not wanting to be part of the plot.

Lonely Jim wanders the streets of New Orlean.  Then it occurs to him. It is only Sunday. If he flies home tonight, he can return to work early Monday morning, and return all the cash, before anyone is the wiser.

And does he? You’ll have to watch this film noir yourself to find out. All I can tell you is it’s a nail bitter!