A wealthy businessman whose wife has divorced him, is bitter about the divorce, and prevents his ex-wife from seeing their child. The ex-wife takes him to court, and a judge tries to ...
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A wealthy businessman whose wife has divorced him, is bitter about the divorce, and prevents his ex-wife from seeing their child. The ex-wife takes him to court, and a judge tries to determine what will be best for the child.Written by
If you look up Man on Fire, the internet will tell you Bing Crosby plays an unsympathetic character. Maybe the internet hasn't seen the film, but I have, and I can tell you he's not the bad guy. There's only one line he says that isn't very nice, but the rest of the movie, you're supposed to be on his side. His ex-wife, Mary Fickett, is very clearly the unsympathetic character.
Bing and Mary are divorced, and Bing has full custody of their son, Malcom Brodrick, and they have a wonderful, happy life together. Then, Mary and her politician husband, Richard Eastham, decide they want to sue for full custody, and everyone gets dragged into a nasty legal battle. Man on Fire is the poster child for "Divorce messes up your kids" so if you're not alright with that message, you won't like this movie. I'm sure some audience members will be drawn to Mary's side of the argument, but I certainly wasn't. It was clear to me that she had no real maternal feelings for Malcom and that she only wanted to hurt Bing, and societal pressures made her think she "should" raise her son. If she knew anything about her child, she'd know he loved living with his father and that Bing didn't badmouth her or turn his son against his stepfather.
Inger Stevens plays a legal secretary to Bing's case, but she was badly cast and unnecessary. She looked too much like Mary, so I kept getting them confused, and her only real purpose was to distract Bing from the issue at hand so he'd try to get her into bed. It was so irrelevant to the movie and should have been cut out.
Personally, if I'm going to watch Bing Crosby in a drama about his son, I'd rather watch Little Boy Lost again. But, since he didn't make too many dramas, you can absolutely check this one out to see his acting talents. Without spoiling the ending, I'll tell you that this isn't a movie I'd want to watch again. It's far too "1950s" for my taste.
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