7.8/10
23,229
158 user 85 critic

Cape Fear (1962)

Not Rated | | Drama , Thriller | 21 August 1962 (UK)
A lawyer's family is stalked by a man he once helped put in jail.

Director:

J. Lee Thompson

Writers:

John D. MacDonald (novel), James R. Webb (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
3,892 ( 155)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gregory Peck ... Sam Bowden
Robert Mitchum ... Max Cady
Polly Bergen ... Peggy Bowden
Lori Martin ... Nancy Bowden
Martin Balsam ... Police Chief Mark Dutton
Jack Kruschen ... Attorney Dave Grafton
Telly Savalas ... Private Detective Charles Sievers
Barrie Chase ... Diane Taylor
Paul Comi ... Garner
John McKee John McKee ... Officer Marconi
Page Slattery Page Slattery ... Deputy Kersek
Ward Ramsey Ward Ramsey ... Officer Brown
Edward Platt ... Judge
Will Wright ... Dr. Pearsall
Joan Staley ... Waitress
Edit

Storyline

Small-town lawyer Sam Bowden's life becomes torturous when Max Cady re-enters his life. Cady went to jail for 8 years after Bowden testified that Cady attacked a young woman. Now that Cady has been released, he begins to terrorize Bowden and his family, particularly targeting Bowden's daughter, Nancy. Initially, Cady uses his newfound knowledge of the law (learned in prison) to annoy the Bowdens, then poisons the family dog... Who's next ? Written by Chris Holland <cholland@atlantic.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Now, he had only one weapon left - Murder!...To prevent an even more shocking crime! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 August 1962 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Executioners See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film contains one of the few instances of a correct depiction of what someone sees when looking through binoculars. In most films, what is shown resembles a sideways figure 8 (i.e. side by side magnified images, one for each eyepiece). But what one really sees is a single round magnified image, the same as what you see when looking into the eyepiece of a telescope. See more »

Goofs

The launch in which the Bowden family travels to the houseboat has a full windshield. Later, when Sam leaves by himself, only the windshield's frame is present; the glass is gone. See more »

Quotes

Sam Bowden: [tries to pay Cady to leave town; Cady wants revenge] You shocking degenerate. I've seen the worst - the dregs - but you... you are the lowest. Makes me sick to breathe the same air.
[leaves the bar]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood vs. Religion (1994) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Delivers the Goods
28 April 2012 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

When Cady (Mitchum) slips into the water, it's like an alligator sneaking up on its prey. Except this is a houseboat with two vulnerable women in his sights. With those sleepy eyes, it's hard to know just what sadistic acts he's got in mind, but we know it's too grisly for the screen. Remember what he did to poor Diane (Chase), and he wasn't even mad at her. Cape Fear should have been named Cape Fear, Shudder and Sweat.

This is about the last word in stalker movies. More importantly, it shows how using less often produces more. Mitchum underplays the stalker role, but he also knows how to imply unspeakable evil, which is really more effective than blood splatter. It's what's in your imagination that's really scary. Ditto Peck, (Sam) whose on-screen reserve speaks volumes in grim determination-- he's got to protect his family. Only Bergen as the terrified wife gets to really cut loose. What a first-rate cast, plus expert pacing from director Thompson.

I guess the movie's moral is that if the law can't protect you, you've got to do it yourself. At that primitive level, there's no holds barred. So the tension really mounts as we discover Cady's animal cunning is too much for the law or even for hired thugs. In the end, then, it's going to have to be Cady vs. Sam, mano y mano. It's sort of like a modern morality tale of the nuclear family vs. a swamp beast. No doubt about it, the movie's a real nail-biter the whole way.


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 158 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed