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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A forgotten masterpiece
This is something of a forgotten masterpiece. I first saw it over 30 years ago have waited ever since then for it to be repeated on TV. I can't understand why it hasn't even been released on DVD, and it's barely available on tape!

The story is simple enough: Jean la BÍte (Oliver Reed), a trapper living in the wilds of Canada in the 1850s, comes into a trading...
Published on 9 Feb. 2007 by Black Tent

versus
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This film deserves better
THE TRAP is a wonderful movie, too bad this DVD does not do it justice.

The movie is presented in widescreen format. We can see the entire frame in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. It is not presented in 16:9 anamorphic format though, only 4:3 letterboxed. The movie has a single audio track, in German. There is NO English audio track.

The quality of...
Published on 21 Mar. 2009 by Robert Dahl


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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A forgotten masterpiece, 9 Feb. 2007
By 
Black Tent "zareeba" (Stockton-on-Tees, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Trap [VHS] [1966] (VHS Tape)
This is something of a forgotten masterpiece. I first saw it over 30 years ago have waited ever since then for it to be repeated on TV. I can't understand why it hasn't even been released on DVD, and it's barely available on tape!

The story is simple enough: Jean la BÍte (Oliver Reed), a trapper living in the wilds of Canada in the 1850s, comes into a trading post to sell his furs, claim the money the trader has been holding for him, and buy himself a wife. The `wife-sale' takes place each year, as women released from prison are sold to prospective husbands in remote areas of Canada - a process which sounds repulsive to us but which at least kept them off the streets. However, Jean is too late for this year's wife-sale, so he pledges to buy a wife the following year. Meanwhile he goes to demand his money from the trader - who has to supply it from his own funds because he has squandered Jean's cash on his own demanding wife and daughter. The trader's wife is enraged at this, as she has her heart set on travelling to Vancouver with her daughter. So she gets half the money back by selling Jean a wife - the mute girl Eve (Rita Tushingham), adopted by the trader's family after her own people were killed by Indians. Since that day Eve, traumatised by the sight of her mother brutalised and murdered, has never spoken but has lived with the trader's family as a servant. She is terrified by Jean and is reluctant to go with him, but Jean forces her into his canoe and carries her up the wild river to his cabin in the forest.

There he teaches Eve (whom he addresses simply as `Woman') how to hunt, fish and trap the animals whose furs provide him with his living. Gradually Eve becomes resigned to her lot, but she will not allow Jean to touch her, threatening him with a knife if he comes too close. Winter comes, and it seems that in combating its hardships the ill-assorted pair is finally reaching some kind of agreement. It becomes apparent that Jean does not just want a woman to cook and clean for him, warm his bed and bear his children: he wants a companion. One evening Jean gets out his mouth-organ and as he and Eve dance round the cabin in a moment of light-hearted gaiety, it seems that Jean may at last be winning Eve's heart. But he approaches too close, and she turns on him, taking their relationship right back to square one.

Then one day while Jean is out checking his traps, he gets his foot caught in one of them. He manages to get free, but is pursued by wolves as he half-staggers, half-crawls back to the cabin. Eve helps to drive the wolves away, and Jean tells her how to dress his wounds. But infection sets in, and Jean must ask Eve to take drastic action in order to save his life...

The two leads are superb. Jean la BÍte could easily have been turned into a caricature of a wild backwoodsman, but as portrayed by Reed he is certainly rough and uncouth, but not a bad or even an unkind man. Although Eve's rejection of his advances makes him mad enough to throw furniture about, he never tries to force her, or punish her in any way. And after she saves his life, he confesses that he cannot live without her...and starts to call her by her name. Rita Tushingham is equally impressive as Eve: without uttering a sound, she manages to convey Eve's initial terror, giving way to wariness and finally to acceptance of Jean. The Canadian scenery is stupendous, and Ron Goodwin's soaring, majestic music is a perfect accompaniment to the grandeur of it all.

This film deserves to be resurrected - once seen it will never be forgotten.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This film deserves better, 21 Mar. 2009
By 
Robert Dahl (Phoenix, Arizona USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Trap (1966) (DVD)
THE TRAP is a wonderful movie, too bad this DVD does not do it justice.

The movie is presented in widescreen format. We can see the entire frame in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. It is not presented in 16:9 anamorphic format though, only 4:3 letterboxed. The movie has a single audio track, in German. There is NO English audio track.

The quality of the image is only fair. Schröder Media apparently did not remaster the movie from a good print. The image lacks detail, lacks sharpness, and scenes are alternately too bright or too dark (they didn't adjust the film's dynamic range for home video).

For the benefit of English-speaking customers, there is a 4:3 cropped pan & scan USA-TV version of the movie included as an extra featurette. The quality is only fair, the color is faded, the image lacks sharpness, and it suffers from the same dynamic range problems as the main feature.

All in all, this DVD is a disappointment. The USA-TV version is useless and should not have been included. Rather, the main feature should have been given two selectable audio tracks, German and English, instead of only a German track. It boggles the mind that Schröder Media handled it this way, as it is child's play to add a second audio track to a DVD feature.

The only positive thing that I can say about this DVD is that the main feature shows the entire 2.35:1 aspect-ratio frame of the original film. I can finally see everything that appeared on the original cinema screen as it was when the film was first released in 1966.

And that's the real disappointment here. There are some wonderful scenic vistas of British Columbia in this film that beg to be seen on a properly remastered and restored 16:9 anamorphic widescreen DVD. Hopefully, we won't have to wait another 40 years for a Quality DVD company to come along and do a proper job.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Trap is terrific!, 1 May 2001
By 
McGillfan (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Trap [VHS] [1966] (VHS Tape)
The rapturous introduction music is enough to grab the viewers attention to begin with. Stirring stuff which captures the essence of the the adventurous story line. The always underrated Oliver Reed showing the qualities and the charisma he possessed in his hey day. Frosty Canadian settings help convey the harshness of the plot and the perfomances are top notch throughout. Well worth watching!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A winner, 16 Jun. 2008
This review is from: The Trap [VHS] [1966] (VHS Tape)
Saw this back in the sixties and it has always stuck in mind. In 1967 I wrote my GCE essay and it was the story of this film - it was my 4th try at English Language and I passed - if I recall rightly I did little more of the paper than the essay - reckon it was a gem and I believe the story won for me. Later I always told my children (3 sons)the story of the man, his woman and the howling wolves that chased him through the snowy forest to his cabin door and the difficulties and horror they had to face. Its an archetypal story that cannot help but be retold. I continue to be haunted by it and wait for a DVD release of it to check out its resonance.

Jeff Thomas
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greats, 5 Feb. 2013
By 
Dr. Mark W. Tebbit (Reading, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Trap (1966) (DVD)
Oliver Reed was an underrated actor. Even more so Rita Tushingham. The chemistry between them in this extraordinary film from the mid-60s was all the more remarkable as she never utters a word in the whole film. Despite some rather wooden acting by the minor parts in the cast, this was one of the most original films of its day. The scene in which the trapper Jean Le-Bete is caught in his own bear-trap and attacked by wolves with darkness falling, only surviving because his mute 'woman' helps him to fight them off, has to be one of the best action sequences in the history of cinema. I do in fact remember this film's release and first showing in the Bristol Odeon, when the critics panned it as 'a pointless film' (!). Of course, they would have loved it if it had starred Julie Christie and Omar Sharif wearing designer jeans. Thank heavens it didn't!
[One practical point. Some reviewers have complained that this version is only available in Spanish or German. Look more carefully. You can change the language to English or whichever language you prefer. Click on the Idiomas box]
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ummmmmm, 25 Feb. 2012
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This review is from: The Trap (1966) (DVD)
OK, this is a great film. Its the story of an innocent, mute, young woman, sold to a wild trapper, and dragged off into the middle of nowhere. Its a beautiful location, very seanic, and well worth watching. Very well acted!!

BUT

this version is in GERMAN, the review doesnt say that.

so, be warned

still a good film though, I recomend it
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oliver Reed & Rita Tushingham - great performances!, 2 Jun. 2006
By 
FAMOUS NAME (UNITED KINGDOM) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Trap [VHS] [1966] (VHS Tape)
One of the greatest British movies ever made, and most certainly was the peak of Rita Tushingham's outstanding film career!

Oliver Reed was terribly underrated as an actor, and this movie goes to prove (along with a couple of others he made during the sixties) that he was in fact one of Britain's finest actors!

This film and story keeps you gripped with both suspense and emotion from start to finish - they don't make them like that anymore...

It seems inconceivable that we are still awaiting the DVD release of this movie and it is as rare as diamonds to find on video which was available for only a short time in the mid nineties. Do not ever miss the opportunity to see this film if you get the chance - the story leaves you haunted from the stark atmosphere in which it is told.

Tremendous performances from Oliver Reed, Rita Tushingham and Barbara Chilcott - not to be missed!

Simply magnificent!!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brutal yet classic tale of mountain man adventure., 29 Jan. 2002
By 
mismeg@lemic.fsnet.co.uk (Stoke-On-Trent, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Trap [VHS] [1966] (VHS Tape)
Oliver Reed at his best! Brutal and exciting with all the elements you'd expect from a classic mountain man adventure! Rita Tushingham shines as the delecate yet reluctant mate Eve, a mute, dragged out into the wilderness against her will to fill the gap in Reed's lonely & solitude-like exsistance.
The scenery is breathtaking and the action scene's are so very well choregraphed. Look out for the intence clash between Reed, a pack of wolves & a rather nasty bear trap, and what Eve is requested by Reed to do to his leg with a large axe will have you biting into your pillows, I kid you not!
This movie is not to be missed, especially if you enjoy the action, adventure and beauty of the wilderness. In keeping with other such greats as the Robert Redford classic: 'Jeremiah Johnson', and Charlton Heston's 'The Mountain Men'.
Buy it now! Believe me you won't be sorry.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Adventure on a diminished scale, 4 July 2012
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This review is from: The Trap (1966) (DVD)
All previous DVD editions of this off beat 1966 adventure have been unsatisfactory in some respect and I had hopes of this new Spanish release.The best thing about this film was its spectacular widescreen Rocky Mountains photography but thre is precious little of it left in this edition.The maufacturers have taken an already reduced panned and scanned 4x3 picture and fitted it to 16x9 format by further slicing of the top and bottom.The result-you see merely the central portion of the original widescreen frame.The wait goes on for a "proper" widescreen release of this film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Film - Pity About the Presentation, 30 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: The Trap (1966) (DVD)
This film is brilliant and well worth five stars. It has a good, solid and original bonding story, great actors and acting, wonderful scenery and great music by Ron Goodwin. I remember seeing this at the cinema when I was a boy and have been wanting to get my hands on a dvd of it for years.

But here is where the problems begin. This dvd has two versions: the first is in good colour and widescreeen, but in German and without subtitles; but the second is an extra, an English version shown on US TV and, not only is it fullscreen for TV which only shows the middle bit of what you see in the cinema, but the picture quality is very poor and the colour is so weak as to be not far off black and white, which means that you are going to miss out on the quality of the lovely colourful scenery and great photography of British Columbia's mountains and forests if you want to hear it in English.

So the purchaser has but two choices: 1. See it in good quality widescreen and in colour, but hear it in German and without subtitles. 2. See just the middle bit of the screen in very poor quality and palid colour, but hear it in English.

Hence, it only gets 3 stars. Please, can someone out there provide a decently presented dvd English version at an affordable price, because this is a great film worth seeing well so we can get the best out of it.
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