Man on Fire (1957 film)

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Man on Fire
Directed by Ranald MacDougall
Produced by Sol Siegel
Starring Bing Crosby
Inger Stevens
Cinematography Joseph Ruttenberg
Release dates
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,180,000[1]
Box office $1,415,000[1]

Man on Fire is a 1957 film starring Bing Crosby in a rare non-singing, unsympathetic role.[2]


Two years after her divorce from wealthy businessman Earl Carleton, ex-wife Gwen wants to regain custody of their son, Ted, who is devoted to his father.

Gwen's new husband Bryan Seward works for the State Department. Gwen intimates that Earl made threats to harm Seward's career if she tried to get the child back. As his lawyer Sam Dunstock prepares to handle the custody hearing on his behalf, Earl seems unaware of the personal interest in him from Sam's assistant, Nina Wylie.

The boy tells Judge Rudolph in private that he prefers living with his dad and is suspicious of his mother's motives. Nevertheless, the judge awards Gwen full custody. An alcoholic binge follows for Earl, who is heartbroken.

Nina comes to inform him that business matters are suffering from his neglect. She takes care of Earl when he drunkenly passes out, after he claimed that he never loved Gwen and only married her so a son could take over his business someday.

Ted runs away. Earl, giving power of attorney to Sam, announces he is traveling to Europe for a long rest. Nina realizes that Earl is planning to take Ted with him. Seward arrives in time to take the child off the plane, resulting in a fight between the men. Sam is disgusted with Earl's self-pitying and selfish behavior, and when Nina confesses to being in love with him, Earl cruelly says girls like her are "a dime a dozen". She hands him a dime.

Gwen reveals that she wants Ted back now because she and Seward have been unable to have a child of their own. Her guilt grows at discovering how unhappy she has made her son. A resolution is made, and Earl comes to make his apologies to Nina, handing her back her dime.



According to MGM records the film earned $1.1 million in the US and Canada and $315,000 elsewhere, resulting in a loss of $542,000.[1]


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study .
  2. ^ Frank Miller, 'Man on Fire', Turner Classic Movies accessed 5 May 2012

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