This poor attempt at film noir turns out to be little more than film blah. Hayworth, who was billed after Sommer, was 47 at the time of the film and a bit too old for this femme fatale role. Ford is a 10-grand-a-year cop who lives high on the hog because his wife, Sommer, inherited some
stocks and bonds from her father. When the dividends fail to materialize one quarter, Ford finds himself in bad financial trouble and Sommer's extravagant ways don't help. The picture begins with Ford and his cop partner, Montalban, searching for an unemployed Mexican who killed his wife because
she was working as a hooker to earn enough money for their child. Ford is also investigating the shooting of a thief by Cotten, a wealthy physician who caters to the Park Avenue crowd. Ford discovers that Cotten is the leader of a huge narcotics ring, with lots of unmarked and untaxed cash in his
safe. This is the loot that Ford hopes will get him out of debt. Montalban learns about the cash and demands his cut of the proceeds. The dead thief, a junkie, had been married to Hayworth, now a waitress. When Ford runs into her, we learn that the two had been lovers a long time ago and they
quickly pick up where they left off. Hayworth knows about her late husband's business dealings with Cotten, but before she can talk, he has her thrown out a window. Ford and Montalban sneak into Cotten's residence to rifle his safe. They are caught in gunfire, but manage to escape to Ford's house
with two bags of heroin. Montalban is wounded in the melee and Cotten agrees to treat him if one of the bags of narcotics is returned. Cotten arrives at Ford's house, but Montalban has already died. Ford and Cotten open fire on each other once again and Cotten is killed. Ford is seriously wounded.
Sommer convinces him to allow her to call an ambulance, even though he knows that his bosses at the station will discover his crime and put him in jail. This was one of a series of films which portrayed cops as bad guys. A few, such as ROGUE COP; THE BIG HEAT; and PUSHOVER, were reasonably
successful. However, the genre never really caught hold of the moviegoing public, primarily because the characters were so unlikeable, the audience couldn't empathize with anyone. In 1985, Friedkin directed TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A., which suffered the same fate as THE MONEY TRAP. People simply
could not relate to the characters.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: This poor attempt at film noir turns out to be little more than film blah. Hayworth, who was billed after Sommer, was 47 at the time of the film and a bit too old for this femme fatale role. Ford is a 10-grand-a-year cop who lives high on the hog because h… (more)