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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.

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Writers:

(novel), (earlier screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1,406 ( 468)

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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:

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:

 »
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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

Both Robert De Niro and Nick Nolte had to alter their physiques for the film because the 6'0", bulky, Nolte is clearly larger than the 5'9", slimmer De Niro. Nolte slimmed down, losing a good deal of weight, while shooting the film and De Niro bulked up his muscles considerably until De Niro could be seen as Nolte's physical superior. Interestingly the original Sam Bowden (Gregory Peck 6'3" at his peak) was also slightly taller than the original Max Cady (Robert Mitchum 6'1" at his peak). See more »

Goofs

When Danielle and Max are talking in the theater, she tells Max that part of her punishment for smoking grass is that she can't drive the Cherokee. Their model Jeep is a Wagoneer, although it was a package on the Cherokee model. 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

On the video, the music and nighttime crickets audio continue over not only the Amblin Entertainment logo after the credits end, but the MPAA Rated R screen and the Universal Studios plug as well.

On the DVD, the Universal Studios plug is removed and the audio continues over just a black screen after the MPAA Rated R screen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Curb Your Enthusiasm: Affirmative Action (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Mess with the Voodoo
Written by Graham Drout, Bob Hamphill, Nick Kane and Joe Smith
Performed by Iko Iko
From "Snowstorm In The Jungle" on Kingsnake Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Not in his (Scorsese's) best, but definately has it's moments of glory
24 March 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Martin Scorsese takes his first whack at the horror/thriller genre with a remake of the 1962 classic of the same title. While I can not truthfully say the original was better due to the fact that I never saw the original, I have a feeling that Scorsese has brought his maestro touch to the film that changes it slightly from the original to make it better, because this is quite the suspenser.

Here, a very dangerous and evil man named Max Cady (played in one of the best villain roles of the 90's by Robert De Niro) gets out of jail after 14 years of imprisonment, and decides to get vengeance on the lawyer (Nick Nolte) and his family (Jessica Lange the mother and a young and supple Juliette Lewis as the daughter). At times the film is surprisingly slow, but the film is never boring, and suspense is always in the air; the climax/ending contains some of Scorsese and De Niro's finest work. Also, De Niro steals the show as the animal Cady by making the person who is supposed to be the hero into a flawed character, thereby turning the film almost into a Film-noir, which is quite a feat for Scorsese and company. Not perfect, but it shouldn't be. Those are Scorsese's parents briefly buying fruit. A-


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