The Wrong Man (1956)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  26 January 1957 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 17,461 users  
Reviews: 123 user | 55 critic

True story of an innocent man mistaken for a criminal.



(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Cooper ...
John Heldabrand ...
Esther Minciotti ...
Doreen Lang ...
Laurinda Barrett ...
Norma Connolly ...
Betty Todd
Lola D'Annunzio ...
Kippy Campbell ...
Robert Balestrero
Robert Essen ...
Gregory Balestrero
Richard Robbins ...
Daniel - the Guilty Man


Christopher Emmanuel Balestrero - Manny to his friends - is a string bassist, a devoted husband and father, and a practicing Catholic. His $85 a week gig playing in the jazz combo at the Stork Club is barely enough to make ends meet. The Balestreros' lives will become a little more difficult with the major dental bills his wife Rose will be incurring. As such, Manny decides to see if he can borrow off of Rose's life insurance policy. But when he enters the insurance office, he is identified by some of the clerks as the man that held up the office twice a few months earlier. Manny cooperates with the police as he has nothing to hide. Manny learns that he is a suspect in not only those hold ups, but a series of other hold ups in the same Jackson Heights neighborhood in New York City where they live. The more that Manny cooperates, the more guilty he appears to the police. With the help of Frank O'Connor, the attorney that they hire, they try to prove Manny's innocence. Regardless of if ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The police were convinced... The witnesses were positive ...Yet he was... THE WRONG MAN See more »


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Not Rated | See all certifications »




| |

Release Date:

26 January 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der falsche Mann  »

Box Office


$1,200,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Alfred Hitchcock filmed one of his usual cameos, standing in a restaurant as Manny sits, but decided on using a narrated prologue instead. See more »


After Manny is fingerprinted, he wipes his inked hands off on a paper towel but much of the ink stays on his fingers. He is shown looking at his hands in the jail cell a few shots afterwards and his fingers are completely clean even though he never washed them in between walking to the jail cell and while inside the cell. See more »


[first lines]
Prologue narrator: This is Alfred Hitchcock speaking. In the past, I have given you many kinds of suspense pictures. But this time, I would like you to see a different one. The difference lies in the fact that this is a true story, every word of it. And yet it contains elements that are stranger than all the fiction that has gone into many of the thrillers that I've made before.
See more »


Spoofed in Foul Play (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

A Different Kind of Suspense
3 July 2001 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

Although the theme of "The Wrong Man" could apply to several of Hitchcock's more famous thrillers, this movie is unique in holding closely to a series of events as they actually happened. That means there is a lot less of some of the usual Hitchcock features, such as his famous set pieces or his subtle humor. They are replaced by a different kind of suspense, still done with Hitchcock's usual craftsmanship.

Henry Fonda and Vera Miles play a factual ordinary couple whose lives are thrown into turmoil when the police confuse the husband with a man who has been committing a series of robberies. The first part of the movie concentrates on the nightmare he undergoes in being interrogated, jailed, and arraigned. Fonda's convincing acting, along with Hitchcock's detail-oriented filming, enable the viewer to feel the anxiety and helplessness of an innocent man being horribly misjudged. In the second part of the movie, as Fonda gets ready to go to trial, the ordeal finally starts to take its toll on his wife.

Although this has to be ranked as a minor work compared to Hitchcock's long list of masterpieces, it is a worthwhile film in its own right, as long as you have the right expectations in watching it. It can be quite uncomfortable to watch these things happen when you know that it all really occurred, and Hitchcock uses his skill to help us see just what an ordeal it was.

22 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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