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The Wrong Man (1956)

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In 1953, an innocent man named Christopher Emmanuel "Manny" Balestrero is arrested after being mistaken for an armed robber.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Maxwell Anderson (screen play), Angus MacPhail (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry Fonda ... Manny Balestrero
Vera Miles ... Rose Balestrero
Anthony Quayle ... Frank D. O'Connor
Harold J. Stone ... Det. Lt. Bowers
Charles Cooper ... Det. Matthews
John Heldabrand John Heldabrand ... Tomasini
Esther Minciotti Esther Minciotti ... Mama Balestrero
Doreen Lang Doreen Lang ... Ann James
Laurinda Barrett Laurinda Barrett ... Constance Willis
Norma Connolly Norma Connolly ... Betty Todd
Nehemiah Persoff ... Gene Conforti
Lola D'Annunzio Lola D'Annunzio ... Olga Conforti
Kippy Campbell Kippy Campbell ... Robert Balestrero
Robert Essen Robert Essen ... Gregory Balestrero
Richard Robbins 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:

An innocent man has nothing to fear! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | Spanish

Release Date:

26 January 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der falsche Mann See more »

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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:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On the DVD, the running commentary revealed that when the crew went to film the scenes at the country hotel, Alfred Hitchcock stayed in his limo due to the cold outside and decided to move the production to Hollywood to complete the film. See more »

Goofs

Christopher Balestrero is called "Chris" by the police until they get him to the precinct and start parading him around the town to be identified. When they get back to the precinct, they begin calling him "Manny". I don't think that there is any time when the police are advised of his preference to be called Manny. 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 Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Wrong Jedi (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

A Different Kind of Suspense
3 July 2001 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

Although the theme of "The Wrong Man" could apply to several of Hitchcock's more famous thrillers, this movie is unique in holding closely to a series of events as they actually happened. That means there is a lot less of some of the usual Hitchcock features, such as his famous set pieces or his subtle humor. They are replaced by a different kind of suspense, still done with Hitchcock's usual craftsmanship.

Henry Fonda and Vera Miles play a factual ordinary couple whose lives are thrown into turmoil when the police confuse the husband with a man who has been committing a series of robberies. The first part of the movie concentrates on the nightmare he undergoes in being interrogated, jailed, and arraigned. Fonda's convincing acting, along with Hitchcock's detail-oriented filming, enable the viewer to feel the anxiety and helplessness of an innocent man being horribly misjudged. In the second part of the movie, as Fonda gets ready to go to trial, the ordeal finally starts to take its toll on his wife.

Although this has to be ranked as a minor work compared to Hitchcock's long list of masterpieces, it is a worthwhile film in its own right, as long as you have the right expectations in watching it. It can be quite uncomfortable to watch these things happen when you know that it all really occurred, and Hitchcock uses his skill to help us see just what an ordeal it was.


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