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FIRE TRAP, THE (director: Burt P. Lynwood; screenwriter: from the story by Charles F. Royal/Charles F. Royal; cinematographer: Bert Longenecker; editor: Earl Turner; cast: Norman Foster (Bill Farnsworth), Evalyn Knapp (Betty Marshall), Sidney Blackmer (Cedric McIntyre), Oscar Apfel (R. W. Rawson), Ben Alexander (Bob Fender), Herbert Corthell (Commodore Brunton); Runtime: 73; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Larry Darmour; Alpha Home Entertainment; 1935)
“Easy to take but hardly memorable romantic/crime drama.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Burt P. Lynwood (“Shadows of the Orient”/”Reckless Roads”/”Motive for Revenge”) directs this easy to take but hardly memorable romantic/crime drama. The production values are less than average and the story by Charles F. Royal that is written by him never rises to an acceptable level of credibility. It stars Norman Foster who directed several Charlie Chan and Mr. Moto movies, as well as such film noir classics such as Journey Into Fear (1943) and Kiss the Blood Off My Hands (1948).

Fire insurance appraiser Bill Farnsworth (Norman Foster) is rushing to the scene of a fire when he is run off the road and into a lamppost by reckless society playgirl Betty Marshall (Evalyn Knapp). With his car totaled, Bill takes Betty’s car that has her tycoon uncle R. W. Rawson’s (Oscar Apfel) mutt Wag in the back seat. At the blaze, Wag runs into the burning building and is rescued by Bill. This rescue softens Betty’s heart and earns him an invite to her uncle’s estate for a fox hunt, where the two fall in love. There Bill learns that her uncle’s business is not doing so well and Bill’s crooked boss Cedric McIntyre (Sidney Blackmer) has arranged a million dollar insurance policy. Cedric is hired by Rawson to burn down his warehouse that has perfume stored in crates but is actually only gasoline. As Bill acts to avert the arson, a torn Betty gets trapped in the inferno trying to help her uncle stay out of jail.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”