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Crosstrap (Lost 1962 British Crime Film)

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Crosstrap is a low-budget 1962 British crime film directed by Robert Hartford-Davis, starring Laurence Payne and Jill Adams and based on a novel by John Newton Chance. The plot involves a young couple who get caught in a gang war amidst the backdrop of the English countryside.


In addition to being the directorial debut of Hartford-Davis, one of the most prolific directors in British exploitation cinema, the film is also notable for reportedly featuring unusually graphic violence for the early 1960's, with one reviewer describing it as "a climactic bloodbath where corpses bite the dust as freely as Indians in a John Ford western." Upon its initial release, Crosstrap was shown as a supporting film in British cinemas, where it recieved generally negative reviews by critics, being labelled "brawny but brainless" by Kine Weekly magazine and "overacted, ludicrous, and amateurish" by the Monthly Film Bulletin. Five years later, the film was re-released by another distributor, possibly in an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of the then recently-released Night of the Big Heat, also based on a novel by Chance. After this point, the film seemingly disappeared off the face of the planet, with no indication of it ever having been shown on television and no surviving stills or publicity material.

As with Hartford-Davis' later film Nobody Ordered Love, Crosstrap is listed by the British Film Institute as one of their 75 Most Wanted features. Unusually, the BFI never included the film in their archives, and all attempts to locate the prints have proven futile. Given the scarcity of surviving materials, it is rather unlikely that the film will ever see the light of day again.

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