7.7/10
24,043
163 user 86 critic

Cape Fear (1962)

Passed | | 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)

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Cape Fear (1991)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A convicted rapist, released from prison after serving a fourteen-year sentence, stalks the family of the lawyer who originally defended him.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery.

Director: Charles Laughton
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young woman discovers her visiting uncle may not be the man he seems to be.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey
Mirage (1965)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An accountant suddenly suffers from amnesia. This appears related to the suicide of his boss. Now some violent thugs are out to get him. They work for a shadowy figure known simply as The Major.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Gregory Peck, Diane Baker, Walter Matthau
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A British team is sent to cross occupied Greek territory and destroy the massive German gun emplacement that commands a key sea channel.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: David Niven, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An American physician and his wife take matters into their own hands after assassins planning to execute a foreign Prime Minister kidnap their son.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda de Banzie
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A sympathetic retired army scout takes-in a white woman and her half-Apache son, not knowing that the boy's father, a murderous renegade Apache, is after them.

Director: Robert Mulligan
Stars: Gregory Peck, Eva Marie Saint, Robert Forster
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A former prisoner of war is brainwashed as an unwitting assassin for an international Communist conspiracy.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An African-American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A couple's attitudes are challenged when their daughter introduces them to her African-American fiancé.

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn
Marnie (1964)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Mark marries Marnie although she is a habitual thief and has serious psychological problems, and tries to help her confront and resolve them.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery, Martin Gabel
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:

CHILLING SUSPENSE in the screen's most gripping war of nerves! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Passed | 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

Telly Savalas was screen tested for the role of Max Cady, but later played private eye Charlie Sievers. See more »

Goofs

For some strange reason, just after Sam shoots Cady, the shot of Cady from Sam's POV shows the branches of a bush superimposed on the bottom and left side of the frame. The tipoff is that when the camera moves the branches of the "bush" do not - they move along with the camera, as if they're glued onto the frame (which they are). See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Max Cady: [Bowden has shot Cady and is holding the gun on him] Go ahead. I just don't give a damn.
Sam Bowden: No. No! That would be letting you off too easy, too fast. Your words - do you remember? Well I do. No, we're gonna take good care of you. We're gonna nurse you back to health. And you're strong, Cady. You're gonna live a long life... in a cage! That's where you belong and that's where you're going. And this time for life! Bang your head against the walls. Count the years - the months - the hours....
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Behind the Planet of the Apes (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Better than the remake
12 October 2005 | by MovieAddict2016See all my reviews

Martin Scorsese's version of "Cape Fear" had its moments, but overall was something of a chaotic picture. Its "satire" (or lack thereof) didn't really have a point, and its over-the-top visuals seemed to be compensating for a lack of content. It seemed less like Scorsese and more like DePalma.

Thompson's original is better - more scary, more thrilling, more diabolical and realistic. Whereas De Niro's scenery-chewing performance in the remake was almost laughable, Robert Mitchum's spine-tingling turn here as Max Cady is one of the great human movie monsters - he's a demon at spirit, no in physicality.

He seeks revenge on Gregory Peck and his family after Peck puts him away in jail for a few years.

Scorsese's version was more updated and in that sense its general themes were more believable - Cady's psyche was more exposed, his violence exploitative - and the romance between Cady and Sam Bowden's daughter in the original is nonexistent. In fact, the extent of his harm towards her is when he chases her around an empty school.

Still, this is a better version of the movie because it has more strengths than the remake. Visually it's not as impressive but it makes more of an impact as a thriller.


67 of 84 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 163 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed