ABC Stage 67

The Trap of Solid Gold

Season 1, Ep 15, Aired 1/4/67
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  • Episode Description
  • Ben Weldon is an ambitious businessman on the fast track to success. The company he works for expects him to live the upper class suburban lifestyle on a middle management salary in order to prove himself worthy of advancement. With two kids, a new house, club dues, etc. Ben and his wife Ginny find themselves stretched to the breaking point financially. Ben's coworker Hal Crady suggests he settle for a regional management position, as he hopes to do. Ben dismisses this as "a dull routine job" and keeps playing the game since he knows the boss has a promotion for him lined up. Hal suggests he sees a "crack C.P.A.", J. J. Semmons, who tells him he needs to either get a raise or quit the game. At work he is eager to head a new test computer operation by commuting to Chicago while his finances get shakier. Finally he asks his boss, Mr. Mallory for a raise. After expressing disappointment in Ben, Mallory at first tells him to manage with his "income bracket." Ben refuses to be brushed off saying "somebody should figure out another bracket, sir! Because the way it's set up it's a trap-it's not enough. It doesn't work." Mallory tells him he needs a week to think about it. Later Ben clears the $9,000 out of his retirement account, a move the company will not view favorably, to pay his bills. Mallory then informs Ben he has a solution to his problem-a promotion to Regional Manager of the Southwest. A move to Denver and the canceling of the computer project are the end result. Ben's family is happy but he feels otherwise. The show ends with Ben and family on a plane to Denver. Ben's final thoughts are heard: But when you get close to the top-get a glimpse of what it looks like-and then have to come down, you know that all your life-when you read about others who made it-you will wonder what it would have been like to be "up there."moreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • John D. MacDonald

  • Ellen Violett

  • Bob Markell

  • Paul Bogart

  • Cliff Robertson

    Ben Weldon

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Notes (1)

    • This episode was available for rental in 16mm at one time. The MacDonald short story originally appeared in the April 1960 Ladies Home Journal.

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