7.3/10
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Cape Fear (1991)

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

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (earlier screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
1,260 ( 85)

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ON DISC
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Judge
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Zully Montero ...
Craig Henne ...
Prisoner
Forest Burton ...
Prisoner
Edgar Allan Poe IV ...
Prisoner
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Prisoner
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Storyline

Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte)is a small-town corporate attorney/"Leave It to Beaver" type family-man. Max Cady (Robert De Niro) is a tattooed, cigar-smoking, bible-quoting, rapist. What do they have in common? Fourteen years, ago Sam was a public defender assigned to Max Cady's rape trial, and he made a serious error: he hid a document from his illiterate client that could have gotten him acquitted. Now, the cagey, bibliophile Cady has been released, and he intends to teach Sam Bowden and his family a thing or two about loss. Written by James Craver

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sam Bowden has always provided for his family's future. But the past is coming back to haunt them. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 November 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cabo de miedo  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$79,100,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is an iconic shooting star scene; an apparent nod to Steven Spielberg. See more »

Goofs

Dani removes her retainer while on the phone with Cady, but it reappears and disappears again between shots before she finally puts it back in when she hangs up. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Danielle: My reminiscence. I always thought that for such a lovely river the name is mystifying: "Cape Fear". When the only thing to fear on those enchanted summer nights was that the magic would end and real life would come crashing in.
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Crazy Credits

At the start of the film, when the Universal Pictures logo appears on screen, instead by studio's theme, sounds from the thunders and rainy is heard, and the logo changes of Egyptian ripple waters. See more »

Connections

References Miami Vice: The Cell Within (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Fife and Drum / Yankee Doodle Dandy
(Traditional, played during Fourth of July parade scene)
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Robert DeNiro truly gives this movie its element of fear
24 May 2005 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

To me, it's amazing that there's actually a place in North Carolina called Cape Fear, but it provides the perfect setting for this movie. Several years after attorney Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte) defended convicted rapist Max Cady (Robert DeNiro), Cady gets out of jail and decides that Bowden didn't do a good job defending him. After Sam and Max meet each other a few times, Max starts getting crazier and crazier. After he tries to enter Sam's house, Sam and his family go into hiding at Cape Fear. Then, the terror really begins.

Martin Scorsese brought a unique intensity to movies like "Mean Streets" and "Taxi Driver", but this is something completely different. Whereas his earlier movies simply made you identify with the characters, "Cape Fear" makes you both identify with the characters and find them unpleasant. Not only Max Cady, but also the Bowdens. They are never the "ideal American family", but Cady's threats against them make them get progressively nastier in their attitudes towards each other and to other people.

I think that it's safe to say that after watching "Cape Fear", you will never look at any person the same way again.


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