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Mantrap 1953
Description: Branded as criminally insane and incarcerated for a murder he did not commit, Speight escapes from the asylum, determined to clear his name. He befriends personal detective Hugo Bishop (Henreid) who, convinced that the wrong boy has been convicted, agrees to support search the true killer. They start their find for the murderer closest to home where both Thelma Speight (Maxwell) and her employer Maurice Jerrard were visibly distressed by the news of her husband's jailbreak. More than Speight's 'insanity' fuels their worries.
Released: 02 Oct 1953 Director: Terence Fisher Writers: Paul Tabori (screenplay), Terence Fisher (screenplay), Paul Tabori (adaptation), Trevor Dudley Smith (novel) Actors: Paul Henreid, Lois Maxwell, Kieron Moore, Hugh Sinclair Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Mantrap Reviews:

Saw this movie online and worth a look.Spoilers: A mystery made mysterious by the writers via misleading clues, lack of cohesion and glaring loopholes starts when Speight (Kieron Moore) escapes after being found guilty of murder, and his wife, Thelma (Lois Maxwell), believes he is after her because she is in love with other boy and has changed her name. Lawyer Bishop and mate (Paul Henreid), testing a hunch, finds Speight at the stage of the crime and learns he is after the true murderer and not his wife. They shift through few boys as suspects, all of whom seem to know his wife rather well. It is well done but no nice shakes in the thriller department. The acting ranges from nice to shaky and look for Kay Kendall in a tiny helping role.


MANTRAP is a dullish crime thriller from Hammer Movies and one of the worst in the filmography of the nice director Terence Fisher. It stars Kieron Moore as a guy who busts out of prison to search the true murderer behind the crime for which he was framed and sent to jail. All well and good, except the focus of the storyline is on his ex-wife whose contribution to the entire thing is rather negligible. This turns out to be a long-winded and stodgy affair, bogged down by stock dialogue and nary a moment's excitement. The cast members fail to breathe much life into the routine lines given them by Paul Tabori, and Lois Maxwell has none of the glamour and vitality as evinced in her Miss Moneypenny roles in soon years. Only mild interest arises in spotting Barbara Shelley (in her debut appearance) and Bill Travers as a lovelorn figure.


I only rated this 1953 movie 5/10 as average.It has rather terrible continuity, editing and to be frank is rather dull for what purports to be a thriller.The highlight for me was to see an early Kay Kendall performance however I did not recognise "Miss Moneypenny" (Lois Maxwell from early James Bond films) who played the female lead.The another player review above succinctly outlines the primary plot, such as it was, so I won't repeat it.Casting Paul Henreid in the male lead role as an investigative lawyer was a mistake as the producer could have cast a British actor for more verisimilitude in the role.Normally I like what I call "Cholomdley-Warner" (apologies to Harry Enfield) movies but this was not one of them.



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