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The Man in the Net (1959)

Unrated | | Crime, Mystery | 26 April 1959 (UK)
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A struggling artist in a small town becomes the prime suspect when his wife mysteriously disappears.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Reginald Rose (screenplay), Hugh Wheeler (story) (as Patrick Quentin)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Alan Ladd ... John Hamilton
Carolyn Jones ... Linda Hamilton
Diane Brewster ... Vickie Carey
John Lupton ... Brad Carey
Charles McGraw ... Sheriff Steve Ritter
Tom Helmore ... Gordon Moreland
Betty Lou Holland Betty Lou Holland ... Roz Moreland
John Alexander ... Mr. Carey
Edward Binns ... State Police Capt. Green
Kathryn Givney ... Mrs. Carey
Barbara Beaird Barbara Beaird ... Emily Jones
Susan Gordon ... Angel Jones
Michael McGreevey ... Buck Ritter (as Mike McGreevey)
Charles Herbert ... Timmy Moreland
Steven Perry ... Leroy
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Storyline

John Hamilton leaves a comfortable New York job to take up as an artist in a quiet Connecticut town. His dipso wife hates the life and falsely makes him out to be selfish, unsuccessful, and, worst, someone who hits her. When she suddenly disappears suspicion falls on him and the townsfolk take the law into their own hands. Hamilton finds his only allies are the local children he has befriended. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Suspense-Charged 97 Minutes in Motion Pictures!

Genres:

Crime | Mystery

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 April 1959 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Das tödliche Netz See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Hamilton's car is a 1953 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible. See more »

Goofs

When John and Brad are depicted as being on the train to New York City, the scenes through the train car's windows are bouncing up and down as if the rear-screen projection shots used were from a vehicle on the road, not from a train. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mediocre, one of Ladd's last films
4 September 2009 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Like a lot of classic film stars, Alan Ladd's career ended on a low rather than a high note, and one of his last films, 1959's Man in the Net, is a good example of this. It was also one of the last films for director Michael Curtiz who directed such classics as "Casablanca." It's a poor effort from such an accomplished man.

Ladd plays an artist who has left the pressure of NYC and his full time job in order to paint. He spends most of his time in the woods, painting, while a group of local kids play nearby and talk with him. His major problem isn't the brushes and colors, though, it's his wife (Carolyn Jones), an alcoholic who wants to return to the social atmosphere that helped her drinking along in the first place. Here in the boondocks, she's hooked up with the ritzy set, to Ladd's displeasure.

When he returns from a business trip to New York City, his wife is missing, there is blood on his painting clothes, his paintings have been destroyed, and everybody thinks he's responsible. With the help of the children he has befriended, he eludes the police and is able to get the proof he needs to exonerate himself.

With a tighter script and someone other than Ladd, this might have been a decent movie. The kids are adorable, and that angle of the script plays out nicely. Ladd, unfortunately, sleepwalks through the role and at times, actually looks like a blind man. I tried to figure out why, and I think it's just because he's literally staring into space instead of focusing on something. There was never anything spectacular about Ladd's acting - what he had was a presence, a toughness, and good looks. These are all gone, and in their place is a puffy, heavy-lidded, slow man.

In contrast, the striking Carolyn Jones is full of energy in her role. With her signature short haircut and Bette Davis eyes, Jones was an edgy actress who left us too soon. She was very good at playing neurotic party girls and straying wives, though she's remembered today as Morticia on "The Addams Family" TV show.

All in all, "The Man in the Net" plays like a television drama, with the suburbanites going after Ladd like they all live in the wild west. Someone commented that today he would be suspicious for hanging out with children, and that aspect dates the film as well. It's a shame, because the nicest aspect of the movie was the way the kids rallied around him and helped him.

If you loved Ladd in "This Gun for Hire," "The Glass Key," "The Blue Dahlia," and "Shane," skip this. You don't need to see a fallen star.


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