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The Steel Trap

The Steel Trap(1952)

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The Steel Trap A bank employee steals cash... MORE > $16.95
Regularly $19.99
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James Osborne, an assistant manager at a Los Angeles bank, is bored by his staid life and wonders what it would be like to rob the bank. Jim calculates that on a Friday evening, after the Federal Reserve makes its deposit, he could steal almost a million dollars without the theft being discovered until Monday morning. Curious if there is a country that does not have an extradition treaty with the United States, Jim researches various statutes and learns that Brazil would offer a safe haven. Now obsessed with the idea, Jim lies to his devoted wife Laurie that the bank is sending him on a two-week business trip to Rio de Janeiro, and that he wants her and their daughter Susan to accompany them. Laurie is thrilled, although she protests that Susan is too young for the journey. Figuring that they can send for Susan once they get settled, Jim begins to put his plan into action. The next morning, he and Susan apply for expedited passports, and Jim visits a travel agent, who tells him that the only possible route is a Friday night flight to New Orleans, with a connecting flight to Rio on Saturday morning. Although the flight to New Orleans is full, two cancellations come through and Jim secures their seats. Jim is dismayed to learn that Laurie has told her mother, who is to care for Susan, where they are going, but quickly masks his fears. On Friday morning, Jim arrives at the bank with a large suitcase, which he hides, and confirms that the passport clerk is going to send the Osbornes' passports to the Brazilian consulate, where Laurie will pick them up with the necessary visas. After the bank closes and the tellers deposit their cash in the vault, Jim sneaks downstairs and fills his suitcase with money. Laurie telephones to tell Jim that she cannot reach the consulate in time, and Jim then calls to ask one of the clerks to stay late so that he can retrieve their passports. Jim and the bank manager, Tom Bowers, then close the vault, although Jim only pretends to spin the combination lock, hoping to return to steal more money before leaving. Jim then races to the Brazilian consulate but is delayed by traffic, and by the time he reaches the office, everyone has left. Jim asks an elevator operator for help, and while the man attempts to locate the Brazilian consul, Jim meets Laurie in the building's coffee shop and obtains seats on a later flight to New Orleans. When it appears that he is running out of time, Jim breaks into the consulate office and finds the passports. A watchman apprehends him, however, and is about to take him to the police when the elevator operator arrives with the clerk to whom Jim had spoken earlier. The clerk reluctantly vouches for Jim, and soon he and Laurie are speeding toward the airport. When the plane stops over in Amarillo, bad weather grounds them until they are in danger of missing their connecting flight. Upon their arrival in New Orleans on Saturday morning, Jim and Laurie learn that they have indeed missed the plane to Brazil, but the clerk, Briggs, assures them that because they are fourth on the waiting list for Sunday's flight, it is likely they will make it. Although Jim is overcome with worry, he is determined to treat Laurie to a grand day in New Orleans, and the couple sightsee and dine at Antoine's that night. Travel agent Valcourt, who has heard of Jim's desperation to acquire tickets for Sunday's flight, arranges for him and Laurie to be placed first on the list, and late that night, Jim hints to Laurie that their stay in Brazil may be permanent. The next morning, Jim's demeanor and heavy suitcase rouse Briggs's suspicions and he alerts customs officials, who open the suitcase to see if Jim is smuggling gold. When questioned, Jim states that he is ferrying the money on an emergency mission for the bank, although the inspector insists on calling Bowers to verify Jim's story. Bowers is away playing golf, however, and the inspector allows the Osbornes to leave when their flight is called. Unfortunately, there have been no cancellations, and Jim and Laurie are turned away. Briggs promises them seats on Monday's flight, and Jim and Laurie then check into a small hotel. Suspicious of Jim's erratic behavior, Laurie questions him and finally deduces that he stole the money. Jim admits his crime, telling her that he wanted to cram as much happiness as possible into their lives. Laurie tearfully chastises her husband and states that she could never be happy living under false pretenses, then leaves to return to Los Angeles. Meanwhile, back in Los Angeles, Jim's co-worker, Ken Woodley, learns from Susan where Jim and Laurie have gone, and he tries to contact Bowers, who is still playing golf. Laurie arrives home in time to deflect Ken's suspicions, while in New Orleans, Jim wanders through the streets, contemplating a bleak future without his family. Early Monday morning, Jim calls Laurie to tell her that he is going to return home and try to replace the money before the bank opens. Jim arrives just in time, and collapses with relief after successfully returning the money. As he then takes his usual route home, Jim realizes how lucky he is and gratefully embraces Laurie.