A cab driver finds himself the hostage of an engaging contract killer as he makes his rounds from hit to hit during one night in Los Angeles. He must find a way to save both himself and one last victim.
Sam Bowden is a small-town corporate attorney/"Leave It to Beaver"-esque family-man. Max Cady is a tattooed, cigar-smoking, bible-quoting, psychotic 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
For the first time in Scorsese's career, he allowed the screenwriter, Wesley Strick, on the set during filming. See more »
When Sam Bowden is first confronted by Max in his car, he offers to buy Max off. Max counters Sam's hypothetical $10,000 offer with, "Let's say $50,000--$50,000 into [about] 5,000 days" equals $10 per day. He meant to say 5,000 days into $50,000, which would give his daily pay rate. (The first calculation equals 1/10th of a day per dollar.) See more »
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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Later half of the credits are played to the sound of nighttime crickets. See more »
Robert DeNiro truly gives this movie its element of fear
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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