The Money Trap is a film stuck between two periods, coming right at the end of the big studio era and just before the Hollywood New Wave struck and changed all the rules. Despite the fact that it was completed just a year or two before Bonnie and Clyde, The Money Pits looks like a relic in comparison. There are a number of late studio-era crime films that fall into this same category, movies like Frank Sinatra's The Detective and Tony Rome, David Janssen's Warning Shot, Madigan with Richard Widmark, Kaleidoscope with Warren Beatty, and Paul Newman's Harper. Most of these movies get fairly tepid reviews from critics who see them as examples of the studio's collective decline through the changing '60s. Strangely, this period ranks up amongst my favourites. There's something about them that strikes a chord.
I've always liked this film. It's the flip side of Gilda (which starred Ford and Hayworth 20 years earlier), the '40s glamour replaced with grit, greed and the changing world of the '60s. Perhaps it's this “out of time” quality that appeals to me. We too, are living through a period of immense societal change and perhaps there's comfort to be found watching it play out in another era. The Money Trap is than a curiosity piece however, it's a solid film as well. In a strange turn, thespians Montalban and Elke Somer would go on to greater success than their much-more-famous (at least at the time) Money Trap co-stars. Rita Hayworth would only make a handful more films and Glen Ford and Joseph Cotten were mostly relegated to made-for-TV movies and mini-series for the balance of their careers.
The Money Trap and Nora Prentiss just arrived at the FBW (well, not quite...they're still at my place, but I'll get them to the store next week) on the stupidly-overpriced Warner Brothers Archive Collection.
....and is it just me or does Ford look like he's taking a crap in the middle of a gun battle on the poster?