The Wrong Man (1956)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  26 January 1957 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 17,454 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


For the first time Alfred Hitchcock goes to real life for his thrills! It's all true and all suspense - - the all-round biggest Hitchcock hit ever to hit the screen ! Warner Bros. present HENRY FONDA, VERA MILES and the exciting city of New York in Alfred Hitchcock's [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?


Although based on a true story, Alfred Hitchcock deliberately left out some of the information that pointed to Manny's innocence to heighten the tension. See more »


When Manny is put in the jail cell for the night, a man asks for and takes his tie. In the morning he is wearing the tie again. 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 Very Sad Drama Based on a True Story
4 May 2005 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In New York, the Catholic Italian musician of the Stork Club Christopher Emanuel "Manny" Balestrero (Henry Fonda) is a simple man, married with his beloved wife Rose (Vera Miles) and having two sons. On 14 January 1953, his wife needs an expensive teeth treatment, and Manny goes to the insurance company, trying to raise a loan. However, he is wrongly identified by a clerk as the man who robbed the place twice, being arrested and sent to jail. His friends pay the bail and he tries to prove his innocence. Meanwhile, Rose has a nervous breakdown, caused by her mistrust on his innocence, and is sent to an institution for treatment.

"The Wrong Man" is a very sad and touching story of the injustice against an innocent man, affecting the health of his family. Henry Fonda is amazing in the role of an ordinary man, who accepts passively the situations, believing on God and praying for strength and justice. Vera Miles is fantastic in the role of a wife who believe she has part of the guilty for the action of her beloved husband. This movie was filmed in many authentic locations, and is a very different work of Alfred Hitchcock. Maybe due to the theme be so serious, Hitchcock appears only introducing of the story, and does not have any other small participations as he usually does in his movies. The black and white photography, with shadows, and the score of Bernard Herrmann, complete the magnificence of this great underrated movie. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "O Homem Errado" ("The Wrong Man")

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