Trapped (1949) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Secret Service agents make a deal with a counterfeiting inmate to be released on early parole if he will help them recover some bogus moneymaking plates, but he plans to double cross them.

  • The Secret Service of the US Treasury learns that a new batch of counterfeit bills has been in circulation using the plates that Tris Stewart, having completed three years of a ten year prison sentence, had used that led to his conviction. They are able to make a deal with Stewart, in consideration for early parole, to stage a "mock" escape so that he can help them locate the source of the counterfeit bills and hopefully recover the plates to shut down this counterfeit operation for good. In discovering that the plates had been sold by Stewart's deadbeat former partner Sam Hooker to one of their old associates, Jack Sylvester, Stewart may have other things on his mind, such as reconnecting with his old girlfriend, Meg Dixon, a nightclub cigarette girl who now goes by the professional name Laurie Fredericks, and together living off the proceeds that those plates and resulting counterfeit bills can provide. What happens with Stewart and Laurie will not only be affected by Sylvester and his handlers in the Secret Service, but also by the presence of Johnny Hackett, who, assumed to be a racketeer in the way he easily throws around money in the nightclub, has his eye on Laurie for himself.



The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • When counterfeit money starts turning up around Los Angeles the Treasury Department recognizes the funny money as the work of Tris Stewart (Lloyd Bridges) who has been in prison for several years. Treasury Agents offer Tris a break on his jail time if he agrees to help them find out who is distributing fake money which is being printed fresh from 20-dollar plates he created. Tris ultimately agrees and gets out of jail, but escapes to his girl friend Laurie (Barbara Payton) with plans to go into business with a former associate who has the plates and will make more money. To get the money they need Tris and Laurie make a plan to rob the club where she works as a cigarette girl, but when the cops interrupt them and Laurie gets arrested Johnny Downey (John Hoyt) steps in and sets himself up as Tris's partner. Little does Tris realize but Downey is a Treasury agent and Tris and the crooks actions have been monitored consistently since he escaped and fled to Los Angeles. Things goes well until an old acquaintance blows Downey's cover and Tris plans to quiet him for good after obtaining the twenty-five thousand dollars for his plans. The confrontation includes a collection of shoot-outs and chases in a thrilling climax.

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