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The Net (1923 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Net
The Net scenes.png
Film stills from The Net
Directed byJ. Gordon Edwards
Screenplay by
Based onThe Woman's Law
by Maravene Thompson
Starring
CinematographyBennie Miggins
Production
company
Distributed byFox Film
Release date
  • December 2, 1923 (1923-12-02)
Running time
7 reels
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

The Net is a 1923 American silent melodrama film directed by J. Gordon Edwards and starring Barbara Castleton, Raymond Bloomer, and Albert Roscoe. It is a film adaptation of the 1919 Broadway play of the same name, itself based on the novel The Woman's Law by Maravene Thompson. The film depicts the story of Allayne Norman (Castleton) and her husband Bruce (Bloomer). Bruce commits murder and convinces Allayne to help him blame the crime on a man suffering from amnesia (Roscoe). After Bruce dies and the man recovers, he marries Allayne.

The film's release was delayed almost a year from its originally announced date. Contemporary reviews were mixed to negative. Like many of Fox Film's early works, it was likely lost in the 1937 Fox vault fire.

Plot

Allayne Norman's husband Bruce is a drunkard and gambler. Finally unable to tolerate his behavior, she goes to her artist cousin for assistance. Her husband follows her to demand more money. The resulting argument and fight ends with Bruce killing his wife's cousin. Shortly thereafter, an amnesiac man enters the studio. In an effort to avoid the consequences of his actions, Bruce places his identifying documents in the man's pockets, then flees the studio with Allayne and their son.

The police are unable to determine what has occurred, but identify the man as Bruce Norman based on the planted papers, and send him to what they presume to be his home, in the hope that the presence of family will aid the return of his memory. Fearing the truth would result in her son being known as the child of a murderer, Allayne identifies the man as her husband while Bruce remains in hiding.

When Bruce returns, he attempts to kill the man who has taken his place. He fails and is shot instead. The man regains his memory, allowing him to be cleared of wrongdoing. Having fallen in love during their time together, Allayne and the man marry.[1][2][3]

Cast

Alma Bennett was initially reported as a member of the cast,[4] but the American Film Institute believes she did not appear in the finished film.[2] This was Castleton's final film appearance.[5]

Production

Maravene Thompson's The Woman's Law was originally serialized in The American Magazine between November 1913 and April 1914[6] before being published as a novel in 1914.[7] The first film version was produced Arrow Film and distributed by Pathé in 1916.[6][7] Thompson adapted her novel into a play, titled The Net,[8] which was performed at Broadway's 48th Street Theatre.[9] Channing Pollock praised the quality of the production and cast, which included Claire Whitney, but found elements of the story unconvincing.[8][10] It ran for eight showings[10] and was considered a success.[11]

In December 1922, Fox Film announced the addition of six films to its schedule for planned release in January 1923, including an adaptation of The Net.[A][12] However, filming had not begun on The Net at that time[2] and its release was repeatedly delayed. In January, the studio claimed that director J. Gordon Edwards was "screening the final scenes" and set a February 25 release date.[13] In April, it was still advertised for the "coming season",[14] but by October it was described as a "1924 drama".[11] The Net was finally screened on December 2, 1923.[1][2]

It was also released internationally: in France in February 1924,[15] Argentina in March,[16] and Brazil in August.[3]

Reception and legacy

The Net was not well-received by critics. The Film Daily was scathing, calling the film a "feeble attempt at entertainment" with a "terrible story" and inadequate cast.[17] They also reported the opinions of local critics. Despite issues with the plot, the Rochester, New York reviewer was generally positive;[18] however, the Cleveland review opined that the "acting doesn't warrant complimentary adjectives".[19] Photoplay's was also mostly negative, but thought the film might appeal to fans of Bertha M. Clay.[20]

The Net is believed to be lost. The 1937 Fox vault fire destroyed most of Fox's silent films,[21] and the Library of Congress is not aware of any extant copies.[22] Because little of Edwards's work survives, few of his films have drawn attention from modern authors,[23][24] but film historian Larry Langman described The Net as an example of the 1920s trend to use amnesia as a plot element in crime films.[25]

See also

Notes

References

  1. ^ a b Solomon 2011, pp. 285–286.
  2. ^ a b c d e "The Net". AFI Catalogue of Feature Films: The First 100 Years 1893–1993. American Film Institute. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Helena (August 16, 1924). "I Say". Brazilian American. 10 (251): 45.
  4. ^ "Fox offers new series of six specials for new year". Exhibitors Herald. 16 (1): 50. December 30, 1922.
  5. ^ Wlaschin 2008, p. 103.
  6. ^ a b "The Woman's Law". AFI Catalogue of Feature Films: The First 100 Years 1893–1993. American Film Institute. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Goble 1999, p. 1022.
  8. ^ a b Pollock, Channing (April 1919). "The Net". The Green Book Magazine. 21 (4): 495–497.
  9. ^ "48th Street. 'The Net'". Theatre Magazine. 29 (218): 206. 1919.
  10. ^ a b "The Net". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Fox names release dates for eight more big productions". Moving Picture World. 64 (8): 676. October 23, 1923.
  12. ^ "Fox has new set of six super specials as a second series for season 1922–23". Moving Picture World. 59 (8): 735. December 23, 1922.
  13. ^ "Fox lists two big pictures". Moving Picture World. 60 (4): 379. January 27, 1923.
  14. ^ "Fox announces a big list of specials". Moving Picture World. 61 (6): 673. April 7, 1923.
  15. ^ "Fox announces February foreign releases". Motion Picture News. 29 (7): 728. February 16, 1924.
  16. ^ "Elaborate list of specials scheduled by Fox for Brazil". Exhibitors Herald. 18 (12): 61. March 15, 1924.
  17. ^ "The Net". The Film Daily. 27 (22): 10. January 27, 1924.
  18. ^ "'The Net' – Fox Victoria, Rochester". The Film Daily. 27 (16): 31. January 20, 1924.
  19. ^ "'The Net' – Fox Hippodrome, Cleveland". The Film Daily. 27 (74): 8. March 30, 1924.
  20. ^ "The Net—Fox". Photoplay. 25 (5): 102. 1924.
  21. ^ Slide 2000, p. 13.
  22. ^ "The Net / Barbara Castleton [motion picture]". American Silent Feature Film Database. Library of Congress. January 5, 2017. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  23. ^ Solomon 2011, p. 1.
  24. ^ Brownlow 1976, p. 35.
  25. ^ Langman 1998, pp. 28–30.

Bibliography

External links

This page was last edited on 29 January 2021, at 14:07
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