MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 704 this week

Cape Fear (1962)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  12 April 1962 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 19,015 users  
Reviews: 141 user | 78 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

10 Best Back-to-School TV Shows

Dust off your varsity jacket and get excited for fall with our list of the 10 best back-to-school TV shows.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 18 Jun 2011
 
a list of 42 titles
created 26 Jan 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 49 titles
created 6 months ago
 
a list of 45 titles
created 2 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Cape Fear" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Cape Fear (1962)

Cape Fear (1962) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Cape Fear.

User Polls

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery.

Directors: Charles Laughton, Robert Mitchum, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A British team is sent to cross occupied Greek territory and destroy the massive German gun emplacement that commands a key sea channel.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: David Niven, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas
Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In Australia's Outback during the early 20th century the impoverished Carmody family lives a nomadic life out of their wagon but the mom and son want to settle while the dad is against it.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum, Peter Ustinov
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Beautiful half-breed Pearl Chavez becomes the ward of her dead father's first love and finds herself torn between her sons, one good and the other bad.

Directors: King Vidor, Otto Brower, and 5 more credits »
Stars: Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Gregory Peck
Cape Fear (1991)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A convicted rapist, released from prison after serving a fourteen-year sentence, stalks the family of the lawyer who originally defended him.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A family saga covering several decades of Westward expansion in the nineteenth century--including the Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the building of the railroads.

Directors: John Ford, Henry Hathaway, and 2 more credits »
Stars: James Stewart, John Wayne, Gregory Peck
The Omen (1976)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Mysterious deaths surround an American ambassador. Could the child that he is raising actually be the anti-christ? The devil's own son?

Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, Harvey Stephens
Rampage (1963)
Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A German zoo hires two hunters to catch a rare breed of panther in Malaysia. The girlfriend of one of the hunters accompanies them on their hunt, which tenses the situation as the other ... See full summary »

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Elsa Martinelli, Jack Hawkins
War | Drama | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Grim story of one of the major battles of the Korean War. While negotiators are at work in Panmunjom trying to bring the conflict to a negotiated end, Lt. Joe Clemons is ordered to launch ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Gregory Peck, Harry Guardino, Rip Torn
Days of Glory (1944)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A heroic guerilla group fights back against impossible odds during the 1941 Nazi invasion of Russia.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Gregory Peck, Tamara Toumanova, Alan Reed
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two rich British men offer a penniless American a loan, without telling him that the amount is £1,000,000, and this in the form of a single banknote.

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Gregory Peck, Jane Griffiths, Ronald Squire
Edit

Cast

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

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:

The Original Masterpiece Of Revenge, Confrontation And Murder! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 April 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Executioners  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Jim Backus was set to play attorney Dave Grafton, but had to drop out due to conflicts with his new show Gilligan's Island. See more »

Goofs

When Sam is at the boat dock he goes into the shop and gets some thinner. As he is leaving the shop he has the thinner in his left hand. Then when he confronts Caty the thinner is gone and then he takes his daughter down the stairs the thinner is never seen again. See more »

Quotes

Sam Bowden: [tries to pay Cady to leave town; Cady wants revenge] You shocking degenerate. I've seen the worst - the dregs - but you... you are the lowest. Makes me sick to breathe the same air.
[leaves the bar]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Good drama made great by an excellent Mitchum
5 December 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Sam Bowden is a lawyer who, eight years ago, acted as a witness against Max Cady to put him behind bars. Released from prison, Cady has studied the law and is set on terrorising the Bowdens without actually overstepping his legal rights. As Cady toes the line with increasingly worrying results, Browden begins to cross the line to deal with him and protect his family.

Having seen the remake first I wanted to go back and see it done originally. My first impression was that the remake had done some elements better than this. For example Nolte's lawyer is a lot less clean-cut than Pecks'. Also the sexual threat to the daughter is a lot more played out in the remake. Getting past this I saw how this was actually a better film in many ways. As a drama it moves along at a good pace – not jumping from one thrill to the next but not dragging either.

The film can only hint at the deeds of Cady because of the censors but it is clear even to the blind that Cady is a monster. This ups the tension as everything is slowly build to and we don't get a bloody or sexually shocking scene as a pay-off, no, here the tension is build on top of other tension. The direction is good, giving a dark feel to the look of the film as well as hinting constantly. Even if some of the thrills are signposted it still works well.

However, without Mitchum's performance this would be a very different film. With the help of De Niro's sneer or menacing tattoos, he is still a better Cady. He is on top form – where De Niro wore his threat large, Mitchum hints at it under a veneer of casual disinterest, making the threat seem bigger when he acts. Peck is good even if his character is too clean-cut when he should have been pushed further over the line for my tastes. Bergen doesn't have much to do, but her final scene with Mitchum is powerful and she really lets rip. Martin is perfectly cast – she looks like a child but also is `developed' enough to be a sexual role for Mitchum to prey on. It is easy to watch her as Mitchum closes in on her, almost licking his lips, but that's the power of the film.

Overall this manages to be powerful and thrilling despite the censors and is a really good drama. However it is totally carried by a monstrous yet subtle performance by Mitchum. De Niro was good in the role but once you've seen this you'll realise that menace can be acted subtly and not just by sneering and getting tonnes of tattoos.


23 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
de niro vs. mitchum mascisman
Why Did Diane Taylor Go On Date With Cady? louis-king
Was the wife sexually assaulted? eastcoastguyz
Why Not Top 250 fernandezpablo85
Robert Mitchum terrifies me......... phoebe4353
A goof I noticed heymanitschels
Discuss Cape Fear (1962) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?