The Man in the Net

The Man in the Net is a 1959 American film noir starring Alan Ladd and Carolyn Jones. The taut drama was directed by Michael Curtiz.[1]

The Man in the Net
Man in the net Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMichael Curtiz
Produced byWalter Mirisch
Alan Ladd
Screenplay byReginald Rose
Based onnovel by Patrick Quentin
StarringAlan Ladd
Carolyn Jones
Music byHans J. Salter
CinematographyJohn F. Seitz
Edited byRichard V. Heermance
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • May 29, 1959 (1959-05-29) (Sweden)
  • June 10, 1959 (1959-06-10) (United States)
Running time
98 minutes
CountryUnited States


Commercial artist John Hamilton (Alan Ladd) and wife Linda (Carolyn Jones) leave New York and move to Stoneville, Connecticut, in the New England countryside, to escape the bustle of the city and because of John's growing concern about Linda's alcoholism.

John quickly befriends the town's children, but he's treated like an outsider by many of the adults. Linda misses their social life in New York, as well as the salary John made there.

She insists they attend a party at the home of Brad (John Lupton) and Vickie Carey (Diane Brewster), where the guests include another married couple, Roz (Betty Lou Holland) and Gordon Moreland (Tom Helmore), the wealthy father of Brad Carey. A scene is created by an intoxicated Linda, who insults John and lies that he gave her a black eye, confessing to Vickie after the party that she actually fell while drunk. In anger, she tells John she's been having an extramarital affair with a local policeman, Steve Ritter (Charles McGraw).

John agrees to go to New York for a job interview arranged by his wife behind his back. When he returns, Linda is nowhere to be found. A suitcase belonging to her is spotted by a city dump. Unable to find John's wife, police and neighbors suspect him of murder. Villagers stone his house. Ritter arrives to arrest him. John flees and is given refuge by the children, who know of a secret cave.

Evidence is found linking Linda to another man. A tape recording is left as bait, and John, who suspects someone else, is surprised when Brad turns up looking for the tape. It reveals he's the one Linda had the affair with and the one who physically abused her, but John soon discovers that it was Mr. Carey who actually killed Linda to cover up for his cowardly son.



Newspaper clipping about the artists who provided the paintings for the film, June 1958

The film was based on a novel by Patrick Quentin, a pseudonym for Hugh Wheeler writing solo (most of the previous Quentin books were however co-written with Richard Webb), which was published in 1956.[2] Film rights were bought the following year by the Mirisch Company, who had a deal with United Artists.[3] Alan Ladd was signed to star in January 1958.[4] Reginald Rose, who had just written Man of the West for the Mirisches, signed to write the screenplay.[5] Michael Curtiz directed.

Filming started 23 June.[6] The film was mostly shot in Hollywood at the Goldwyn Studios with some location shooting at Raceland in Framingham, Massachusetts. Many of the outdoor scenes were shot in Thompson, CT, on the town common where a set was built (gas station) and at the Ballard Farm. Also, the exterior of "The Chimney House", a location that figures prominently in the story is Roseland Cottage in Woodstock, Connecticut.[7][8]

The paintings done by Ladd's character were painted by Frank Stovall, as well as two of Carolyn Jones by Harold M. Kramer and others by Hilyard Brown.[9][10][11][12]


When the film was released, Richard W. Neson, film critic for The New York Times, wrote "More interesting is the dialogue by Mr. Rose and his preoccupation with injustice. The lines show a keen love for kids and an honest regard for the need to interject reality into a yarn that is tediously familiar once it settles down into its melodramatic formula. Miss Jones plays the wife with controlled fanaticism. Mr. Ladd, on the other hand, performs in his usual, cool style, which under the hectic circumstances mutes his personality to the point of unreality."[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The Man in the Net at the American Film Institute Catalog.
  2. ^ Reports on Criminals at Large By ANTHONY BOUCHER. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 18 Nov 1956: 298.
  3. ^ MIRISCH TO FILM 'MAN IN THE NET': Firm Buys Mystery Novel for Production in 1958-- Zinnemann Signs Writer Actor Leaves Warners Of Local Origin New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 21 Dec 1957: 22.
  4. ^ SCREEN DIRECTORS TO FIGHT TV SALE: Will Join Actors, Writers in Opposing Republic's Plans -- Shelley Winters Cast By THOMAS M. PRYOR. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 25 Jan 1958: 14.
  5. ^ ULLMAN WESTERN PLANNED AS FILM: Story Based on Masterson's Life Listed by Mirisch -- Rose Writing Script By THOMAS M. PRYOR. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 27 Feb 1958: 23.
  6. ^ MATURE, U. A. PLAN FILM OF CIVIL WAR: Actor Will Produce and Star in Andersonville Drama -- Warners Buys Novei By THOMAS M. PRYOR. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 03 May 1958: 11.
  7. ^ Tremblay, Bob (February 9, 2009). "Mr. Know-It-All: Driving Mr. Macomber". Metrowest Daily News.
  8. ^ VIEW FROM A LOCAL VANTAGE POINT: Focus On New England -- Rumer Godden Book Sought -- Starlet By HOWARD THOMPSON. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 29 June 1958: X7.
  9. ^ IMDB Profile, Frank Stovall "The Man in the Net" Art Department Credit
  10. ^ ARTIST STOVALL UNDERGOES KNIFE.. Newspaper Clipping, June 1958
  11. ^ Early California Antiques Online Shop Post, January 13, 2013 Studio Prop Portrait in Oils of Carolyn Jones credited to Frank Stovall c.1958
  12. ^ CARY GRANT PLANS A BUSY SCHEDULE: Starring Role in Hitchcock Film Among 3 Projects -- Business Boosters to Meet By THOMAS M. PRYOR. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 30 June 1958: 24.
  13. ^ Neson, Richard W. The New York Times, film review, June 11, 1959. Last accessed: December 11, 2007.

External linksEdit