User Reviews (12)

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  • tkn1001528 October 2005
    Warning: Spoilers
    Very 1960's with mid-century houses and Hollywood Hills and convertibles and Elke and her life-like body on display. Easy to see why Glenn put up with her extravagance and even her unfaithfulness. The surprise was a used-up, doomed Rita Hayworth, better than Sadie, better than "Fire Down Below." While nobody would believe that Rita was really a down on her luck waitress, she played her exhaustion and disillusionment with the world and especially with men better than any Method actress. Her scenes with Glenn Ford were genuine chemistry between two old friends with loyalty and affection and honesty. And, in the 1960's, how many fifty year old down on her luck character actresses were shown "shacking up" with the star of the picture. Rita established her character so well that, when her sad end was talked about but not seen, it rang true. A real keeper, especially for the next Rita Retrospective.
  • The noir cycle had run its course by the early 60s, but a few stragglers made it through the gates before the 70s changed the way movies were made and viewed. The Money Trap is one of them, and could have been made, in terms of technique and sensibility, in 1956 rather than a decade later. (Digression: this was a time when a series of European "bombshells," most of whom seem to have learned their lines phonetically, starred in big-budget movies, in Hollywood's dizzy anticipation of multiculturalism. Here we have to endure Elke Sommer whose eyes all but cross in her attempt to pronounce English). The theme is the rot at the core of the American Dream (Norman Mailer's novel of that title appeared in 1966, too). Glenn Ford plays a police detective goaded by Sommer to a higher standard of living than his salary permits. He allows himself to be lured into the company of some very shady characters, chief among whom is Joseph Cotten, and starts his descent down the primrose path. Best part of the movie is the return of Rita Hayworth (Ford and she first paired, unforgettably, in Gilda 20 years earlier), as a blowsy waitress with whom Ford once.... Well, you get the picture. When he asks her how she's been, she grudgingly responds, "I've been around."
  • blanche-22 December 2009
    Glenn Ford and Ricardo Montalban are good policemen gone bad who fall into "The Money Trap," a 1965 noir directed by Burt Kennedy. Ford plays Joe Baron, married to beautiful Lisa (Elke Sommer) who is no longer getting dividends from her father's company. Downsizing and some yard sales would seem to be in order, but instead, Joe has his eye on a mob doctor's (Joseph Cotten) safe that's filled with money. Montalban, as his partner Pete, wants in. One man has already been killed cracking the safe, and there are some surprises in store.

    This film is just okay, kind of depressing, but it's notable for the performance of Rita Hayworth as the widow of the dead burglar. She looks pretty used up as her character should, but she's still a stunning woman with true star charisma and great chemistry with Ford, her old co-star. And, as someone else mentioned, how many 50-year-old women playing character roles get to shack up with the lead in a movie? Well, if anyone could, it's Rita.

    Ford was an appealing star without a huge range; this character could have been mined for more depth, but he's fine in the role. Montalban is very good as his money-obsessed partner.

    Worth it for Rita.
  • Lionel White's novel becomes an adequate time-filler from rote director Burt Kennedy. Big city cop Glenn Ford, anxious to hold on to luscious wife Elke Sommer, turns to crime; his partner of six years, Ricardo Montalban, wants in on the action. Familiar swindling and safe-cracking yarn goosed by Hal Schaefer's beatnik music, Paul Vogel's gorgeously bleak black-and-white cinematography, and interesting performances from an agreeable cast. Glenn Ford doesn't try hard to flesh out this complicated character, yet his smaller moments (like stroking Sommer's forearm in bed) go a long way to making a connection with the audience; Rita Hayworth (despite a corny send-off) is excellent as an alcoholic, and Montalban simmers with cat-like heat and paranoia. The dialogue is amusingly gritty ("I'm worried!" ... "Then worry with your mouth shut!") and the locales are vividly captured, however the M-G-M studio streets and back alleys look as phony as ever. **1/2 from ****
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It has smooth, stylish, black & white photography; a peppy but brooding jazz soundtrack and charismatic actors. It's a simplistic but compelling morality play in glamorous film noir clothing. Glenn Ford is sexy (in a vulnerable tough guy past his prime sort of way), Rita Hayworth is lovely and sympathetic, Elke Somer is adorable, Ricardo Montalban is stupid and greedy, Joseph Cotten is sleazy and everyone is degraded. The men suffer from their lack of faith in others; the women through their misguided dependence on virility (they count on men to provide emotional and worldly sustenance). It's worth seeing just for the glossy cinematography and the early 60's architecture and settings.It is not a film for those who venerate realism or seek a highly original screenplay, nevertheless it is far more slick, attractive and entertaining than a large percentage of current Hollywood film or television. Like a song sung by Amy Winehouse, you wouldn't use it to tell you how to live, but it sure feels good when you turn it up loud and surrender for a little while.
  • The Money Trap for me has the distinction of being one of the last B features I ever saw on the big screen as part of a double bill. It is a film way past its prime as a noir picture.

    Noir as a genre essentially died little by little as more televisions were in American homes. The kind of stories that noir does best were now being shown on television every night. Movies were getting bigger and splashier to compete with TV and films like the Money Trap were just not being made for theaters any more. Watching it yesterday on TCM, I was struck by the ludicrousness of a letter box version for a black and white noir.

    By the way, in 1965 television was about to go full color and black and white feature films were getting rarer each year.

    But even as a noir film, The Money Trap has no people you really care about. Glenn Ford is married to a wealthy woman and lives in a lifestyle beyond his cop's salary. But then wife Elke Sommer gets a letter saying her late Daddy's stock won't be paying any dividends. Well golly gee, we should all have such problems.

    It never occurs to Glenn Ford to tell Elke to tone down her extravagant ways, maybe even move out of that luxurious home they have to something more modest. Ford's kind of into the good life also.

    During a homicide investigation involving a wealthy doctor played by Joseph Cotten who allegedly surprised a burglar in his home, Ford and partner Ricardo Montalban suspect something dicey. Before expiring in the ambulance, the burglar gives Ford the safe combination.

    Now knowing something is amiss here. Ford and Montalban decide on a robbery. Of course the doctor is smarter than the both of them put together. The whole thing ends in one bloody mess and the viewer doesn't really care.

    A few years later The Money Trap would have been strictly a made for TV feature if it got made at all. Probably MGM was busy trying to get rid of long time contractual obligations to Ford and Montalban. Both of them have sure done better work.

    But the saddest thing of all is that this is the last feature film partnership of Glenn Ford and Rita Hayworth. Rita's the best thing in this film, playing a very worn out forty something ex-girlfriend of Ford's and widow of the burglar Cotten shot. A great acting job and not anything a former reigning sex goddess ever did before.

    But it ain't enough to save The Money Trap.
  • Was the world ever really like this?

    Pure 1965 black and white, this time machine of a crime drama takes you back to when Elkie Sommer was young, and Joseph Cotten was'nt dead. No profanity, blood or sex on the screen, but everywhere in the painlessly stereotypical screenplay. Predictable to a fault, you seem not to care it's all one big cleche. The jazzy, pre-groovy background music, a totally orignal score by Hal Schaffer, makes this crime-like thing a nostalgic romp of flat-foot flick.
  • Great cast. Might be interesting. Hmmmm.... Well, it starts with a brassy, obnoxious jazz theme, followed oddly by bongo music. Our first scene is Ford as a detective at the scene of a crime wherein a woman was hung in a whore house by her husband. Next scene we have Elke Sommer undressing to go to bed with husband Ford. This film wastes no time! But then it goes on and on with crummy characters played by William Campbell, Ricardo Montalban, Hayworth and Cotten. Dreary all the way to the bitter conclusion. The post-'Gilda' reteaming of Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford is a sad spectacle. Ford's haircut is so bad his ears look bat-like. Hayworth, admittedly is not playing a glamour part, but her degradation is not pleasant to watch. Together they appear dissipated, like their careers at this point. Ford really seems bored and uncomfortable throughout. And Cotten is as dull as usual. But Montalban does show some energy as fellow cop, and Elke Sommer has never looked better and plays the most likable (maybe only likable) character in the film. If that valium is making you feel too good, bring yourself down with this movie.
  • They were looking pretty tired in this. It was the characters they played but they didn't have to stretch much for the part. I see why my wife has a poor opinion of Ford. I always liked him but I had never seen this movie before. I want to know more about the house that Ford and Elke lived in. The design of the pool was very unique. Did anyone notice when Ford was riding in the ambulance (a Buick conversion) talking to the dying burglary suspect, that the car next to them was pacing and passing a code 3 ambulance with its siren on? The camera was set up to shoot the scene but there was normal traffic flowing next to it, so when Ford signals to the driver that the suspect is dead and he can slow down, nothing changed in the street scene outside the window. Loved the white 1964 Plymouth Sport Fury convertible that Ford drove. That model has a value these days of $15K to $20K.
  • Except for the music, THE MONEY TRAP is strictly by the numbers. Third billed Rita Hayworth has maybe five minutes screen time. No matter, she bring what little class this movie has to the screen. My big question is, what is such a terrific cast DOING in this insipid junk? Drawing a paycheck, I guess. Certainly, Glenn Ford, Ricardo Montalban and Joseph Cotton (all then under contract to MGM) were strictly drawing paychecks. This movie SHOULD be seen a reminder of sexual attitudes to which we should NEVER return. That is, whatever males do is OK, but woe be on to a female whom "transgresses," PARTICULARLY if she enjoys it! Otherwise, don't waste your time.
  • The cast and quality black-and-white camera work would seem to destine this film for something great but we don't get there. The problem seems to be the storyline/script which is just too familiar and predictable. Glen Ford plays a fairly well-to-do cop who feels pressured by his barbie doll young wife, Elke Sommer, to deliver even more affluence. His partner, Montalban, is more directly avaricious. Cotten is a corrupt doctor and a very used looking Rita Hayworth is Ford's ex-girlfriend from years ago.

    Ford as usual, underplays but nevertheless makes you feel the cold emptiness and disillusionment of the character. Everyone else delivers well but I think we have all seen these characters, motivations and situations a hundred times before and the script does not give any room for interesting angles or surprises. We get a very dark (literally and figuratively) and gritty film but not something that is likely to grow on you. If this had been made in 1932, it would have been a far more significant film. By the mid 60s, it was tired formula.
  • I didn't have any idea what I was getting into when I watched this one. What I got was a look at Rita Hayworth and the signs of alcoholism and a pretty straight forward police drama...with a decent jazz score.

    I was really looking forward to seeing Hayworth as I like to watch former stars later in their careers. It was painfully apparent that she wasn't in very good shape for this one. I don't know if it was the starting of the Alzheimer's she got or alcoholism but she shows her age in this one. She was easily one of the most beautiful girls on screen in her heyday but I guess we all have to age. Some just not so gracefully.

    Glenn Ford is OK in this but the story in itself is just so transparent. You can pretty much predict every twist and turn. I wasn't surprised once at any "moment" in this film.

    Too many stories going on at once with a very average screenplay tells you why this didn't get released on DVD for a while. It didn't make an impact back in the day I'm willin' to bet.

    Go with the user ratings on this one. If you wanna feel like a genius and predict every thing that happens in a this one. You'll be the next champ of Jeopardy.