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The Wrong Man (1956)

Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir | 26 January 1957 (USA)
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In 1953, an innocent man named Christopher Emmanuel "Manny" Balestrero is arrested after being mistaken for an armed robber.

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(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Manny Balestrero
... Rose Balestrero
... Frank D. O'Connor
... Det. Lt. Bowers
... Det. Matthews
John Heldabrand ... Tomasini
Esther Minciotti ... Mama Balestrero
Doreen Lang ... Ann James
Laurinda Barrett ... Constance Willis
Norma Connolly ... Betty Todd
... Gene Conforti
Lola D'Annunzio ... Olga Conforti
Kippy Campbell ... Robert Balestrero
Robert Essen ... Gregory Balestrero
Richard Robbins ... Daniel - the Guilty Man
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Storyline

Christopher Emmanuel Balestrero - Manny to his friends - is a string bassist, a devoted husband and father, and a practicing Catholic. His $85 a week gig playing in the jazz combo at the Stork Club is barely enough to make ends meet. The Balestreros' lives will become a little more difficult with the major dental bills his wife Rose will be incurring. As such, Manny decides to see if he can borrow off of Rose's life insurance policy. But when he enters the insurance office, he is identified by some of the clerks as the man that held up the office twice a few months earlier. Manny cooperates with the police as he has nothing to hide. Manny learns that he is a suspect in not only those hold ups, but a series of other hold ups in the same Jackson Heights neighborhood in New York City where they live. The more that Manny cooperates, the more guilty he appears to the police. With the help of Frank O'Connor, the attorney that they hire, they try to prove Manny's innocence. Regardless of if ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

25 steps down into a subway and for the first time he doesn't come home that night. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

26 January 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der falsche Mann  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,000,000, 31 December 1956
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Visa d'exploitation en France # 19275. See more »

Goofs

Twice when Manny enters the house we are presumed to believe that he has left the door open. The first time he enters he makes a slight closing motion but nothing happens and the second time a door is heard closing, yet because of the camera position it is presumed that it couldn't be possible to close the door. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Prologue narrator: This is Alfred Hitchcock speaking. In the past, I have given you many kinds of suspense pictures. But this time, I would like you to see a different one. The difference lies in the fact that this is a true story, every word of it. And yet it contains elements that are stranger than all the fiction that has gone into many of the thrillers that I've made before.
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Connections

Referenced in With a Friend Like Harry... (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hitchcock is the right man for suspense!
11 June 2006 | by See all my reviews

This is a very underrated Hitchcock film that features amazing performances from it's two stars, Henry Fonda and (especially) Vera Miles. It is a sad, cynical offering from the Master Of Suspense that has a familiar theme (the title says it all), yet it also is perhaps one of Hitch's most unusual works.

The films runs more like a documentary in it's approach, and it feels inherently 'real'. The casting of 'everyman' Fonda in the role of Manny Balestero, a man accused of crimes he did not commit, works very well as we can feel empathy for Fonda and place ourselves in his position. Ditto with Miles. She is so convincing in her role as the mentally fragile wife Rose that her scenes are almost uncomfortable to witness. Portraying a person self-destructing is one of the hardest tasks an actor can face, but Miles does it subtly and movingly. It is a brilliant performance that ranks alongside Bergman's role in 'Notorious' and Wright's 'Charlie' in 'Shadow Of A Doubt' for best female acting honors in a Hitchcock film.

'The Wrong Man' has a sentimental, tender yet dark atmosphere. The sentimentality is perhaps due to the fact that the central action revolves around a family grouping in this film.There are no elaborate scenes of courtship and romance as in 'Vertigo' or sexy double entendres seen in 'Notorious'- Instead, we get the feeling that this is a real, normal family we are watching unravel at the seams due to the crimes of another.

Appropriately slow-moving to keep in check with Hitch's low-key approach for this one. New York in the 1950's was possibly never photographed so darkly real as it is here. Boasting great performances from the two leads, this is a must-see Hitchcock.


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