Man in the Vault (1956)

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    There are 2 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by chester7777.

    • Man in the Vault (1956)



      Information from IMDb

      Plot Summary
      There's $200,000 in a Los Angeles safety-deposit box that mobster Willis Trent would like to have, so he gets two-timing, double-dealing Flo Randall to get the box number for him. He offers locksmith Tommy Dancer $5,000 to make the key but Tommy refuses. Trent threatens to harm Tommy's girl friend, Betty Turner, and Tommy gives in and goes to the bank. In a few nerve-racking minutes, Tommy makes the key and pockets the $200,000 for himself. Trent sends word that he has kidnapped Betty and the ransom is $200,000.
      Written by Les Adams

      Full Cast
      William Campbell ... Tommy Dancer
      Karen Sharpe ... Betty Turner
      Anita Ekberg ... Flo Randall
      Berry Kroeger ... Willis Trent (as Berry Kroger)
      Paul Fix ... Herbie
      James Seay ... Paul De Camp
      Mike Mazurki ... Louie
      Robert Keys ... Earl Farraday
      Nancy Duke ... Trent's Girl Friend
      Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez ... Pedro (as Gonzales Gonzales)
      Vivianne Lloyd ... Singer
      Fred Aldrich ... Bank Guard (uncredited)
      David Leonard ... Mr. Grover - the Locksmith (uncredited)
      John Mitchum ... Andy (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      Burt Kennedy (screenplay)
      Frank Gruber (novel "The Lock and the Key")

      Original Music
      Henry Vars

      William H. Clothier

      Second Unit Director/ Assistant Director
      Emmett Morrison .... assistant director

      There really was a Grover's Lock and Key on Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood. Apparently, it was easier to use the existing storefront than create a phony one for the movie.

      This was one of the low budget non-John Wayne movies made by Wayne's company, Batjac Productions.

      At the end of his first scene with Tommy, Pedro mentions he will appear on the TV show "You Bet Your Life". Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez, who plays Pedro, actually appeared as a contestant on "You Bet Your Life" in 1953. This appearance led directly to his acting career as it caught the attention of John Wayne and his production company Batjac which signed him to a contract and also produced this movie.

      When Tommy comes out of the bank the second time and gets in his car, the sound of the engine starting and the transmission being shifted occur even though he has visibly not performed those actions yet.

      From one angle, a dead man in a car has his head tilted to his right. In another angle, the head is clearly tilted to the left.

      When Trent and Louie enter Tommy's apartment to offer him the deal, there is a newspaper under the stole that Betty left the night before. After they leave and Tommy retrieves the stole, the newspaper has mysteriously vanished.

      Crew or equipment visible
      At about 68 minutes, when Pedro opens a glass door to leave the bowling alley, the cameraman and a director are clearly reflected in the glass door.

      Veteran heavy Berry Kroeger had his name misspelled in the main credits as "Berry Kroger."

      Filming Location
      West Hollywood, California, USA

      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 2 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Duke's Productions- Man in the Vault (1956)

      Man in the Vault is a competent 1956 B 1956 film noir about a locksmith,
      played by William Campbell,
      who is forced to help gangsters commit a robbery.
      It was based on the novel The Lock and the Key by Frank Gruber.
      Directed by the now promoted Andrew McLaglen
      Produced by Duke's brother Robert E. Morrison, for
      John Wayne's Batjac Productions.
      As could be expected 'Pals' of Duke in attendance,
      William H. Clothier on camera.also starring,
      Paul Fix, Mike Mazurki, Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez, John Mitchum .

      User Review-1

      Tommy Dancer (William Campbell) is a locksmith who is approached by small-time racketeer Willis Trent in a bowling alley. Trent needs a footlocker opened, a task for which he pays Tommy way too much money. That should have rung warning bells but it’s not until Trent explains that he actually has a much bigger job in mind that Tommy finally figures out he might be getting into something dangerous and illegal. By this time Tommy has fallen for glamorous rich girl Betty Turner (Karen Sharpe) he met at a party at Trent’s place and Tommy isn’t really thinking all that clearly.

      He is smart enough to refuse Trent’s approach but it’s too late, Trent has him hooked and will use Betty to force Tommy to play ball.

      Trent has a plan to rob big-league mobster Paul de Camp’s safety deposit box at a local bank. Trent used to be de Camp’s partner but while de Camp has moved up in the world Trent is still just a straightforward hoodlum. Trent’s plan is not a very good one, given that he’s the first person de Camp is going to suspect.

      Tommy has always been basically an honest guy but meeting Betty has given him ideas. Her family is wealthy and her parents give her anything she wants. Tommy thinks that it’s not fair that he isn’t rich as well, so the lure of easy money starts to tempt him. In fact he starts to think that maybe it would be an even better idea to keep all of de Camp’s money himself instead of splitting with Trent. Tommy’s a nice boy but he’s not real bright.

      And security at the bank is so lax that it really does seem like a no-risk plan. Except of course for the fact of having an angry mobster trying to kill you afterwards.

      There are in fact a whole bunch of people involved in the pan to rob de Camp and they’re trying to double-cross each other. There’s shady lawyer Earl Faraday, who is also carrying a torch for Betty. There’s also de Camp’s glamorous girlfriend Flo (Anita Ekberg). It’s a pretty standard but serviceable crime movie plot with a touch of noir coming from the involvement of the well-meaning but weak-willed Tommy.

      Technically the movie is at best competent. The chase scene in the bowling alley is reasonably well executed but don’t expect anything startling as far as visual style is concerned.

      William Campbell is quite effective as Tommy Dancer, playing him as a bit of an innocent but with a bit of an edge as well that prevents the character from being too wet. Karen Sharpe is adequate as Betty, not quite a femme fatale and not quite a spoilt rich girl but a woman who certainly spells danger for Tommy.

      Mike Mazurki, who played the heavy in countless crime and horror movies, is as entertaining as always as Trent’s chief henchman. Anita Ekberg is competent and certainly adds glamour.

      Man in the Vault was produced by John Wayne’s production company, Batjac. While it’s one of the company’s lesser efforts it’s still worth a look.

      The Region 4 DVD is barebones but it’s a decent widescreen print.
      Posted by dfordoom at 3:49 PM

      User Review-2

      Let's be kind and call it below par...
      8 July 2006 | by TrevorAclea (London, England)

      The Man in the Vault is William Campbell, a sort of D-movie hybrid of Cornel Wilde and a much-diluted Robert Mitchum with a quiff the size of a tidal wave. The closest it gets to big names are in the supporting cast, and even then we're only talking about bit parts from Paul Fix, Mike Mazurki, Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez ("Ay theenk") and Anita Ekberg. The behind the camera credits are slightly more impressive - a script by Burt Kennedy, direction by Andrew V. McLaglen and cinematography by William H. Clothier that shows that his mastery of colour was not always matched by the blandness of some of his black and white work.

      It's the kind of programmer that DVD boxed sets were made for, something you can't imagine any major studio releasing if they didn't have to pick it up as part of a package with The High and the Mighty and Hondo or anybody buying if it didn't come in a set with Track of the Cat. The Man Who Would Be Mitch is locksmith Tommy Dancer (they knew how to give characters names in those days), forced to break into a mobster's safety deposit box with the usual consequences. It passes the time inoffensively and efficiently enough, but it says something that the most memorable thing about it was the discovery that a restaurant on La Cienaga that I used to pass on my way to work every day used to be a bowling alley
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 4 times, last by ethanedwards ().