Trap, The (1966): Sidney Hayers’ Tale of Love in the Wilderness, Starring Oliver Reed and Rita Tushingham

Sidney Hayers directed The Trap, a Canadian-British romantic adventure, written by David D. Osborn.

The Trap

Shot in the wilderness of the Canadian province of British Columbia, Oliver Reed and Rita Tushingham star in this unusual love story about a rough trapper and a mute orphan girl.

French-Canadian fur trapper Jean La Bête (Oliver Reed) paddles his canoe through wild water in order to sell a load of furs. At the settlement, a steamboat is landing and the trader and his foster-child Eve (Rita Tushingham) are at the seaport to fetch mail and goods.

The trader explains to Eve that the ship brings “Jailbirds … from the east” and that “their husbands-to-be had bailed them out and paid their fines and their passages with a guarantee of marriage.”

Later, the captain auctions a woman whose husband-to-be has died. Jean La Bête decides to take his chance to buy the wife but he makes his bid too late.

Gradually, a bond evolves between La Bete and Eve, as they get to know each other.

In the end of the saga, she runs away again finally to return to her real love. La Bete touches her face gently, then welcomes her home by telling her to clean the house! Eve smiles.

In the last scene, she stands in the doorway and watches La Bête hobbling into the forest singing a song.

Rita Tushingham as Eve
Oliver Reed as Jean La Bête
Rex Sevenoaks as the Trader
Barbara Chilcott as the Trader’s Wife
Joseph Golland as Baptiste
Linda Goranson as the Trader’s daughter
Merv Campone as Yellow Dog


Directed by Sidney Hayers
Produced by George H. Brown
Written by David D. Osborn
Music by Ron Goodwin
Cinematography Robert Krasker
Edited by Tristam Cones

Production company: George H. Brown Productions

Distributed by J. Arthur Rank Film Distributors

Release date: September 15, 1966 (London)

Running time: 106 minutes

Reel/Real Impact: London Marathon theme tune
A tune from Goodwin’s score is used annually as the theme score for the BBC’s live coverage of the London Marathon, performed by Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.


TCM showed the movie on May 28, 2021.