IMDb > Cape Fear (1962)
Cape Fear
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Cape Fear (1962) More at IMDbPro »

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Cape Fear -- Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum star in Hollywood's classic tale of revenge and murder about an ex-con determined to exact a terrible revenge on a small-town lawyer and his family.


User Rating:
7.8/10   19,299 votes »
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Down 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
John D. MacDonald (novel)
James R. Webb (screenplay)
View company contact information for Cape Fear on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 April 1962 (USA) See more »
Now, he had only one weapon left - Murder!...To prevent an even more shocking crime! See more »
A lawyer's family is stalked by a man he once helped put in jail. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
More than just creepy See more (141 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Gregory Peck ... Sam Bowden

Robert Mitchum ... Max Cady

Polly Bergen ... Peggy Bowden

Lori Martin ... Nancy Bowden

Martin Balsam ... Police Chief Mark Dutton

Jack Kruschen ... Attorney Dave Grafton

Telly Savalas ... Private Detective Charles Sievers

Barrie Chase ... Diane Taylor
Paul Comi ... George Garner
John McKee ... Officer Marconi
Page Slattery ... Deputy Kersek
Ward Ramsey ... Officer Brown

Edward Platt ... Judge

Will Wright ... Dr. Pearsall

Joan Staley ... Waitress
Norma Yost ... Ticket Clerk
Mack Williams ... Dr. Lowney
Thomas Newman ... Lt. Pete Gervasi
Alan Reynolds ... Attorney Vernon

Herb Armstrong ... Waiter
Bunny Rhea ... Pianist
Cindy Carol ... Betty (as Carol Sydes)
Alan Wells ... Young Blade
Allan Ray ... Young Blade
Paul Levitt ... Police Operator
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jack Elkins ... Pedestrian (uncredited)
Joseph Jenkins ... Janitor (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... Extra at Bar / Table Extra at Bar (uncredited)
Marion Landers ... Cross (uncredited)
Bob Noble ... Pedestrian (uncredited)
Jack Richardson ... Deputy (uncredited)
Jeffrey Sayre ... Bar Patron (uncredited)
Al Silvani ... Man (uncredited)
Josephine Smith ... Librarian (uncredited)
Hal Taggart ... Juror (uncredited)

Directed by
J. Lee Thompson 
Writing credits
John D. MacDonald (novel "The Executioners")

James R. Webb (screenplay)

Produced by
Sy Bartlett .... producer
Original Music by
Bernard Herrmann 
Cinematography by
Sam Leavitt  (as Samuel Leavitt)
Film Editing by
George Tomasini 
Art Direction by
Robert F. Boyle  (as Robert Boyle)
Alexander Golitzen 
Set Decoration by
Oliver Emert 
Costume Design by
Mary Wills 
Makeup Department
Virginia Darcy .... hair stylist (as Virginia D'Arcy)
Frank Prehoda .... makeup artist
Thomas Tuttle .... makeup artist
Production Management
Ernest B. Wehmeyer .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ray Gosnell Jr. .... assistant director
Sound Department
Corson Jowett .... sound
Waldon O. Watson .... sound
John McKee .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Léo L. Fuchs .... still photographer (uncredited)
Robert Willoughby .... special still photographer (uncredited)
Music Department
Robert Bain .... musician: guitar (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
105 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Brazil:16 | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-16 (1992) (uncut) | Finland:K-16 (1969) (heavily cut) | Finland:(Banned) (1962) (uncut) | France:U | Germany:16 (re-rating) | Ireland:15 | Netherlands:12 | Norway:16 (1962) | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 (cut) | UK:15 | UK:X (original rating) | USA:Approved (Certificate #20038) | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | West Germany:18 (nf) (original rating)

Did You Know?

Director J. Lee Thompson complained at the time that UK censor John Trevelyan had ruined the film by making extensive cuts, and the number of edits suggested ranged from 60 to over 100. Trevelyan later replied that he had made only 15 cuts, totalling around 6 minutes, with edits made to threatening dialogue and assault references, Cady's attack on Peggy, and all shots of him staring longingly at Nancy. All later UK video releases restored the cinema cuts.See more »
Continuity: 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 »
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 »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Interactive Film Quiz (2006) (VG)See more »


How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Why did Cady have it in for Sam Bowden?
What is Cape Fear about?
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67 out of 83 people found the following review useful.
More than just creepy, 4 August 1999
Author: Spleen from Canberra, Australia

For the first time Hitchcock was decisively beaten at his own game. This is one of the tensest films ever made, and also one of the most perfectly crafted. There are so many things right about it I can afford to concentrate on just two:

(1) Sam Bowden is a firm believer in the sanctity of civil liberties until Cady starts to stalk his family - and he remains a believer even then. He is asked if he really wants the police to have the power to arrest citizens on suspicion alone; and, although his family is in danger, he cannot honestly answer yes. `Cape Fear' is clearly the product of a less bloodthirsty age. But it is the better for it: a clash between deeply held principles and deeply held desires isn't at all interesting unless it really IS a clash - unless the principles are strong enough not to give way at the first breath of wind. And damn it, Bowden is right. The police do NOT have the right to arrest Cady. The potential tragedy is genuine: not something that could be cleaned up if only so-and-so would drop a few pointless scruples.

(2) Robert Mitchum really alarms us. I think it's because his motivations are a little, but not entirely, opaque. When we first see him eyeing Bowden's teen-aged daughter, we don't know exactly what he's thinking any more than Sam does. Is he sexually attracted to her? Does he want to kill her? Rape her? Is he indifferent but just trying to get a rise out of Sam? Indeed: what, exactly, does he want to do to Sam himself? We don't know: and this uncertainty is worse than any precise knowledge.

I doubt I've said enough. `Cape Fear' is riveting from first frame to last. It's well shot, the acting is excellent, and Bernard Herrmann gives us his usual fitting score. It appeals to the intellect as much as to the pit of the stomach. Great stuff.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Cape Fear (1962)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Mitchum deserved an Oscar nomination! darthpaully
de niro vs. mitchum mascisman
Robert Mitchum terrifies me......... phoebe4353
Why Did Diane Taylor Go On Date With Cady? louis-king
Most suspenseful/thrilling of its era? bassplace88
In the airport, how did Cady know... (MINOR SPOILERS) wisecracker72
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