The Money Trap (1966)

92 mins | Melodrama | 2 February 1966

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HISTORY

Screenwriter Walter Bernstein optioned Lionel White’s 1963 novel, The Money Trap, in fall 1963, with plans to write and produce, according to a 10 Oct 1963 DV news brief. Several months later, the 5 Feb 1964 Var announced that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) was backing the film, with Max E. Youngstein set to produce. Youngstein and fellow producer David Karr’s recently formed Diversified Films Inc. was contemplating involvement in the picture, as stated in a 19 Feb 1964 Var article, and the 14 Jan 1965 DV noted that the budget was $1.55 million but Youngstein predicted the film would “come in under schedule and under budget.”
       Robert Mitchum was in talks to star, the 1 Sep 1964 DV reported. Although he was not ultimately cast, his son, James Mitchum, was chosen to play “Detective Wolski.” In a 30 Sep 1964 item, DV indicated that David Miller would likely direct, and that Robert Ryan was under consideration for a role.  The following were listed as cast members in DV and LAT items published between 14 Oct 1964 and 3 Dec 1964: Sterling Hayden; Vito Scotti; Ned Wynn; and Peter Ford, son of lead actor Glenn Ford. Virgil Apger was identified as the still photographer in a 4 Jan 1965 DV brief. 
       Principal photography began on 30 Nov 1964, according to a 4 Dec 1964 DV production chart. The film was shot in and around Los Angeles, CA, and on the MGM studio lot in Culver City, CA. Locations included a Victorian boarding house on Bunker Hill Avenue in the old Bunker ... More Less

Screenwriter Walter Bernstein optioned Lionel White’s 1963 novel, The Money Trap, in fall 1963, with plans to write and produce, according to a 10 Oct 1963 DV news brief. Several months later, the 5 Feb 1964 Var announced that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) was backing the film, with Max E. Youngstein set to produce. Youngstein and fellow producer David Karr’s recently formed Diversified Films Inc. was contemplating involvement in the picture, as stated in a 19 Feb 1964 Var article, and the 14 Jan 1965 DV noted that the budget was $1.55 million but Youngstein predicted the film would “come in under schedule and under budget.”
       Robert Mitchum was in talks to star, the 1 Sep 1964 DV reported. Although he was not ultimately cast, his son, James Mitchum, was chosen to play “Detective Wolski.” In a 30 Sep 1964 item, DV indicated that David Miller would likely direct, and that Robert Ryan was under consideration for a role.  The following were listed as cast members in DV and LAT items published between 14 Oct 1964 and 3 Dec 1964: Sterling Hayden; Vito Scotti; Ned Wynn; and Peter Ford, son of lead actor Glenn Ford. Virgil Apger was identified as the still photographer in a 4 Jan 1965 DV brief. 
       Principal photography began on 30 Nov 1964, according to a 4 Dec 1964 DV production chart. The film was shot in and around Los Angeles, CA, and on the MGM studio lot in Culver City, CA. Locations included a Victorian boarding house on Bunker Hill Avenue in the old Bunker Hill district of downtown Los Angeles, CA. The residence that served as the location was due to be torn down under a downtown Los Angeles urban renewal plan, as noted in the 1 Dec 1964 DV; however, MGM obtained a “month’s ‘stay of execution’” to preserve the two-story building long enough to shoot there. Also shot in Bunker Hill was a scene in which Glenn Ford’s character follows a witness onto the Angels Flight funicular and rides down the hill with her. Other location filming took place in Beverly Hills, CA, at a restaurant in Santa Monica, CA, and at the Windsor Square residence of fashion designer Richard Blackwell, a.k.a. “Mr. Blackwell,” who was also expected to appear in a cameo.
       On 15 Dec 1964, DV reported that the Regis Philbin Show was scheduled to a shoot a behind-the-scenes segment the following day on MGM’s Stage 30, where scenes set at a Bel-Air home were currently being filmed. Just over a month later, the 27 Jan 1965 DV stated that cast and crew had recently celebrated the end of principal photography.
       The following jazz musicians were hired to record Hal Schaefer’s jazz score, according to an item in the 4 Mar 1965 DV: alto saxophonist Bud Shank; trombone player Frank Rosolino; trumpet player Al Porcino; drummer Jack Sperling; bassist Red Mitchell; and guitarist Barney Kessel. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
10 Oct 1963
p. 2.
Daily Variety
18 Feb 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
17 Jul 1964
p. 4.
Daily Variety
1 Sep 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
14 Oct 1964
p. 1.
Daily Variety
1 Dec 1964
p. 1.
Daily Variety
3 Dec 1964
p. 4.
Daily Variety
4 Dec 1964
p. 8.
Daily Variety
10 Dec 1964
p. 11.
Daily Variety
15 Dec 1964
p. 4.
Daily Variety
4 Jan 1965
p. 2.
Daily Variety
6 Jan 1965
p. 11.
Daily Variety
14 Jan 1965
p. 3.
Daily Variety
22 Jan 1965
p. 2.
Daily Variety
27 Jan 1965
p. 2.
Daily Variety
4 Mar 1965
p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
17 Oct 1964
Section B, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
11 Dec 1964
Section D, p. 17.
Los Angeles Times
6 Feb 1966
Section M, p. 14.
Los Angeles Times
11 Feb 1966
Section D, p. 15.
New York Times
5 May 1966
p. 57.
Variety
5 Feb 1964
p. 5.
Variety
19 Feb 1964
p. 5.
Variety
30 Sep 1964
p. 3.
Variety
21 Oct 1964
p. 26.
Variety
9 Dec 1964
p. 22.
Variety
19 Jan 1966
p. 6.
Variety
11 May 1966
p. 4.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Max E. Youngstein Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
MUSIC
SOUND
Rec supv
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Miss Sommer's hairstyles
Miss Hayworth's hairstyles
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Money Trap by Lionel White (New York, 1963).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
2 February 1966
Premiere Information:
Baltimore opening: 2 February 1966
Los Angeles opening: 9 February 1966
New York opening: 4 May 1966
Production Date:
30 November 1964--late January 1965
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Copyright Date:
30 November 1965
Copyright Number:
LP31992
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
92
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Homicide detective Joe Baron is financially desperate because of the extravagance of his wife, Lisa. Consequently, while investigating the shooting of a burglar by society physician Horace Van Tilden, Joe devises a plan to solve his money problems. Learning that Van Tilden is the head of a large dope syndicate, he plans to rob his safe of $1 million in cash. Joe's partner, Pete Delanos, a Mexican tired of being underprivileged, learns of the plot, and demands to be cut in on it. Meanwhile, Joe has resumed a romance with the dead burglar's wife, Rosalie, an alcoholic waitress. Aware that Rosalie knows of his narcotic dealings, Van Tilden has her pushed to her death and then interrupts Joe and Pete as they are robbing his safe. Following a gun fight, Joe and Pete return to Joe's house with two bags of heroin, but Joe agrees to return one bag if Van Tilden will treat the badly wounded Pete. The doctor agrees; but when Pete dies, the two men turn on each other, and Van Tilden is killed while Joe is severely injured. With no alternative open to him, Joe submits to Lisa's calling an ambulance, knowing that the police will soon ... +


Homicide detective Joe Baron is financially desperate because of the extravagance of his wife, Lisa. Consequently, while investigating the shooting of a burglar by society physician Horace Van Tilden, Joe devises a plan to solve his money problems. Learning that Van Tilden is the head of a large dope syndicate, he plans to rob his safe of $1 million in cash. Joe's partner, Pete Delanos, a Mexican tired of being underprivileged, learns of the plot, and demands to be cut in on it. Meanwhile, Joe has resumed a romance with the dead burglar's wife, Rosalie, an alcoholic waitress. Aware that Rosalie knows of his narcotic dealings, Van Tilden has her pushed to her death and then interrupts Joe and Pete as they are robbing his safe. Following a gun fight, Joe and Pete return to Joe's house with two bags of heroin, but Joe agrees to return one bag if Van Tilden will treat the badly wounded Pete. The doctor agrees; but when Pete dies, the two men turn on each other, and Van Tilden is killed while Joe is severely injured. With no alternative open to him, Joe submits to Lisa's calling an ambulance, knowing that the police will soon follow. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.