7.3/10
132,965
271 user 123 critic

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 »
Reviews
Popularity
1,406 ( 468)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Mean Streets (1973)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In director Martin Scorsese's look at New York City's little Italy, A small-time hood aspires to work his way up the ranks of a local mob.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, David Proval
Raging Bull (1980)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An emotionally self-destructive boxer's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside it.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Aspiring comic Rupert Pupkin attempts to achieve success in show business by stalking his idol, a late night talk-show host who craves his own privacy.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Diahnne Abbott
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The life of Jesus Christ, his journey through life as he faces the struggles all humans do, and his final temptation on the cross.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Barbara Hershey
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop Al Capone; because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small, hand-picked team.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Fast Eddie Felson teaches a cocky but immensely talented protégé the ropes of pool hustling, which in turn inspires him to make an unlikely comeback.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Haunted by the patients he failed to save, an extremely burned-out Manhattan ambulance paramedic fights to maintain his sanity over three fraught and turbulent nights.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Patricia Arquette, John Goodman
Cape Fear (1962)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, Polly Bergen
After Hours (1985)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An ordinary word processor has the worst night of his life after he agrees to visit a girl in Soho whom he met that evening at a coffee shop.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Griffin Dunne, Rosanna Arquette, Verna Bloom
Casino (1995)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends, a mafia underboss and a casino owner, for a trophy wife over a gambling empire.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A tale of nineteenth-century New York high society in which a young lawyer falls in love with a woman separated from her husband, while he is engaged to the woman's cousin.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder
A Bronx Tale (1993)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A father becomes worried when a local gangster befriends his son in the Bronx in the 1960s.

Director: Robert De Niro
Stars: Robert De Niro, Chazz Palminteri, Lillo Brancato
Edit

Cast

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

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:

There is nothing in the dark that isn't there in the light. Except fear. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 November 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cabo de miedo  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

During the opening sequence Max Cady is seen working out in his cell and the camera pans over his jail time reading material. One of the books featured is The Cell Within by Jake Manning. This is not a published work and only exists as part of a Miami Vice (1984) storyline. In Miami Vice: The Cell Within (1989), Tubbs is tormented and imprisoned by the author Jake Manning, an ex-con he helped convict years before. See more »

Goofs

Cady asks Bowden to recite Canon Seven of the ABA Model Code. The Model Code was abandoned in 1983 and replaced with the Modern Rules of Professional Conduct, which has no canons. As Cady had been in prison for 14 years, the earlier Model Code would still have been in place when Bowden represented him. 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.
See more »

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

Featured in I Love the '90s: Part Deux: 1991 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Patience
Written and Performed by Guns N' Roses (as Guns N'Roses)
Courtesy of Geffen Records
See more »

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.


41 of 62 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?