The Fire-Trap (1935)

the fire-trap 1935

Good B movie about arson and insurance with Norman Foster as an honest appraiser that works for a fire bug boss.

Bill Farnsworth (Norman Foster) is driving at top speed to get to a fire. His briefcase with two months work is in a burning building. Just for kicks a girl (Evalyn Knapp) is driving recklessly and he ends up hitting a pole. He jumps in her car and takes off. She goes to his wreck and grabs his registration. Until he gets to the fire he doesn’t know a dog is in the backseat.

He runs into the building and gets his briefcase. Back outside he looks up and at the window is the dog. He runs back in and tosses the dog out the window to waiting firemen. Meanwhile his briefcase burns to a crisp.

The girl is Betty Marshall. He uncle is importer R.A.Rawson. She complains about Farnsworth but R.A. is more concerned about his dog. Also in the office is Bill’s boss, Cedric McIntyre (Sydney Blackmer). He was talking with R.A. about a scam to upgrade an appraisal on his warehouse.

Bill shows up with the dog and later Betty demands that he be fired. Cedric will do anything she says and he fires Bill. In the outer office Bill’s friend Bob (Ben Alexander) comes in. He’s a special insurance investigator. Bill shows him a report on a warehouse that appraises its merchandise at a million dollars. Last year Bill made an appraisal and says there are too many zeroes.

R.A. sees Bill’s picture in the paper with the rescued dog and thinks it would be better to have Cedric rehire him. He does. Then Cedric gets on with a radio broadcast he does from the office about how great insurance is. To distract him from what’s going on Bill is invited to R.A’s. country estate to take part in a recreation of an English fox hunt. Cedric is jealous that Betty is spending a lot of time with Bill. He’s really upset that he falls off his horse into some muddy water.

After the hunt Bill wonders about an appraisal worth three million dollars on perfume stored in another of R.A.’s warehouses. He calls his agent friend Bob and asks him to check it out. Bob calls him back and says it’s not perfume and smells of gas and coal oil. Bill gets real concerned because there’s a garment factory next door.

He tells Betty about his suspicions. She doesn’t buy it and Bill storms to his room and packs to leave. Betty gave him a new car rather than go through court procedures where she figures she’ll have to buy him one anyway. He gave her the key back and said he’ll call a taxi. Meanwhile she confronts her uncle who admits the arson plot. Cedric is on his way to town to burn down the warehouse.

Now the race to town is on as Bill and Betty jump into Bill’s new car. R.A. is close behind. It’s an exciting final ten minutes and makes this worth watching.



About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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