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directed by Andrew L. Stone
USA 1952


Thrillmaster Andrew Stone re-teams Shadow of a Doubt’s Joseph Cotten and Teresa Wright for this bank job drama about a man who goes all out for the big score, only to discover he’s risked losing all. Diligent, observant and bright assistant bank manager James Osborne (Cotten) knows all the ins and outs of his bank – including a few loopholes wary upper management has missed. Despairing of the suburban treadmill, Osborne seizes on U.S.-Brazil extradition (or lack thereof) to provide his “get out of jail free card.” His daring plan – rob the bank during working hours on Friday and be safely in Brazil by the time the cash is found missing Monday morn. Unfortunately, Osborne’s wife Laurie (Wright) does not applaud his daring as imagined. She leaves him and, in order to get her back, Osborne must now enact an even more daring plan – break back into the bank and return the purloined tender before Monday morning.


In voice-over, Joseph Cotten asks us `Did you ever have one of those nightmares where you wanted to run but your legs wouldn't move?' He must have been talking about the movie he's stranded in, Andrew Stone's The Steel Trap.

As an assistant bank manager, Cotten, suddenly sick of his daily rut, decides to pep up his life by stealing $1-million and flying down to Rio. He feeds his improbably unsuspicious wife (Teresa Wright) a cock-and-bull story about a big business deal in order to drag her along; they leave their young daughter behind, however (he thinks he can send for her later).

Cotten can't have a superstitious bone in his body, because everything that could possibly go wrong does so – it's like nine lives worth of black cats crossing his path. But he ignores all the bad omens and sticks to his plan, which involves getting rush passports, making last-minute connecting flights and dozens of other details, and to his timetable, since he has to grab the money at closing time Friday and get to Brazil before it's found missing. (Why he didn't wait until the following weekend to think things through is one of the many questions the script leaves conveniently unposed.)

Excerpt of review from Bill McVicar at located HERE


Theatrical Release: 12 November 1952 (USA)

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:24:54

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.76 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: February 21, 2012
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Chapters 9



The Steep Trap is a one-man caper story starring Joseph Cotten and Teresa Wright as a married couple, seen previously together as an uncle and a niece in an excellent Hitchock noir The Shadow of a Doubt . Warner Archive released the title on a MOD DVD without any restoration banner, but, nevertheless, the progressive transfer is very good quality.

There is little damage on the print and the blacks are deep. Unfortunately, there are no extras on this release, but we can still recommend the disc.

  - Gregory Meshman


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Region 0 - NTSC



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