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Cape Fear (1962)

 -  Thriller  -  12 April 1962 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 17,825 users  
Reviews: 137 user | 75 critic

A lawyer's family is stalked by a man he once helped put in jail.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: Cape Fear (1962)

Cape Fear (1962) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lori Martin ...
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Attorney Dave Grafton
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Paul Comi ...
George Garner
John McKee ...
Officer Marconi
Page Slattery ...
Deputy Kersek
Ward Ramsey ...
Officer Brown
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Judge
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Dr. Pearsall
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Waitress
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Storyline

Small-town lawyer Sam Bowden's life becomes torturous when Max Cady re-enters his life. Cady went to jail for 8 years after Bowden testified that Cady attacked a young woman. Now that Cady has been released, he begins to terrorize Bowden and his family, particularly targeting Bowden's daughter, Nancy. Initially, Cady uses his newfound knowledge of the law (learned in prison) to annoy the Bowdens, then poisons the family dog... Who's next ? Written by Chris Holland <cholland@atlantic.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Their ordeal of terror triggers the screen's most savage war of nerves! See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

12 April 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Executioners  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

J. Lee Thompson originally wanted Hayley Mills to play Nancy Bowden, but Mills couldn't because she was contracted to Walt Disney. Thompson still wishes that he had Hayley Mills play Nancy. See more »

Goofs

Animal sounds heard along the river in the scene where the private detective hands over the suitcase to Mrs Bowden are not those of the local fauna. One can distinctly hear the laughing voice of the kookaburra, a bird found only in Australia. See more »

Quotes

Max Cady: [to Diane Taylor] Go on, tell me some more about that time when you were Queen of the Veiled Prophet's Ball.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Real good one for Thrillers
9 September 2006 | by (Argentina) – See all my reviews

Sam Bowden (Gregory Peck) is a happily married lawyer with a teenage daughter, a quiet life and little worries to care for until released convict Max Cady (Robert Mitchum) moves near by seeking for revenge against him. Cady blames Bowden for his 8 years imprisonment because the lawyer failed to get him an innocent verdict in Court for a serious crime he was accused of (and he had committed). The man starts by stalking Bowden and his family while he waits for the appropriate moment to make his move. In the meantime, Cady does not hide his intentions and Bowden knows perfectly well they are in big trouble.

The film is tense all along and interest doesn't fall at any moment. There is a correct direction by J. Lee Thompson, a slightly more than average director who probably did here one of his best jobs (the other one "The Guns of Navarone" (1962) a very entertaining World War II adventure). Black and white shooting was a good idea and helps to create some sort of sordid and dark atmosphere when required as well as the musical score.

Casting is very good too. Gregory Peck is correct in one of his many common good guy roles. Polly Bergen is believable as the frightened wife and there is also good acting by Martin Balsam (as Bowden's chief of police friend) and Telly Savalas (as a private detective hired to help the family). But the major credit in this issue goes without doubt to Robert Michum's performance as the dangerous avenger. He looks calm and quiet -with few exceptions- all the way to the final climax sequences but you know perfectly the man is real mean and deadly. This surely was one of Mitchum's best appearances in his long film carrier.

The 1991 Cape Fear version with Robert de Niro -although a watchable movie- is not as good and thrilling as this one where evil doesn't appear clearly till the end but menace is always there.

A very good thriller indeed!


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de niro vs. mitchum mascisman
Was the wife sexually assaulted? eastcoastguyz
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A goof I noticed heymanitschels
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