IMDb > The Wrong Man (1956) > Synopsis
The Wrong Man
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Synopsis for
The Wrong Man (1956) More at IMDbPro »

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The film examines the life of Manny Balestrero (Henry Fonda), who works as a musician in the Stork Club in New York. He and his wife have very little money. When his wife needs some dental work, Manny attempts to borrow on her policy at the insurance office. Unfortunately, he closely physically resembles an armed robber who held up the office twice before, so the police are called. Manny is arrested and charged with the crime. Manny is identified by several witnesses, and he nervously misspells a word in the same way as the word appeared on the robbery note. His defense attorney, Frank O'Connor, says it's a case of mistaken identity. Manny had a swollen jaw during the time of the first hold-up, which the teller never reported but which she would have seen had Manny been the robber. He had played cards throughout the day of the second hold-up, but his alibi defense takes a serious hit when it turns out that both his card partners that he could trace had died in the meantime. The stress of all this has a devastating effect on his wife, who slowly seeps down into depression, to the point where she is institutionalized.

The trial begins but midway through, a juror makes a remark which prompts the judge to grant a mistrial. While awaiting re-trial, the real robber is arrested while trying to hold-up a grocery store. Manny is exonerated. He visits his wife at the sanatorium to tell her the good news but she remains in an apathic state. However, the film closes with an on-screen note that reveals she eventually recovers and the family move to Florida



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