7.7/10
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170 user 89 critic

Cape Fear (1962)

Passed | | Drama, Thriller | 20 May 1962 (Canada)
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)
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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 ... Officer Brown
Edward Platt ... Judge
Will Wright ... Dr. Pearsall
Joan Staley ... Waitress
Learn more

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Scenes of life and landscape in Provence where a chilly wind called the Mistral blows down the valley of the Rhône to the Mediterranean. The Provençal terrain is dry and parched; the ... See full summary »

Director: Joris Ivens
Stars: Roger Pigaut

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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:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sam Bowden and Max Cady are the only characters to retain the same names in Cape Fear (1991). 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

Max Cady: [to Diane Taylor] Go on, tell me some more about that time when you were Queen of the Veiled Prophet's Ball.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Scorsese on Scorsese (2004) See more »

User Reviews

 
Effective and somewhat ahead of it's time
6 July 2002 | by SmileysWorldSee all my reviews

There's nothing worse than a con who knows his way around the law,and exploits that knowledge to the hilt.Robert Mitchum does this very expertly in the original and best version of Cape Fear.You want to reach out and strangle him,but he is within the law,so you can't.This is the appeal of this film.It's the fuel that keeps it going from start to finish.Along with Mitchum,we have Gregory Peck as the tormented lawyer who sent Mitchum's character,Max Cady to jail for rape years earlier. Having studied law while behind bars,Cady's only intent with his gathering of this knowledge,is to torment Sam Bowden(Peck) and his family.It all leads to a classic finish.I truly believe that this film was a precursor to the thriller films of today.It was a sign of things to come in the cinematic world.It was way ahead of it's time.Worthy of note here is Robert Mitchum's ability to improvise almost to the point of becoming his character.The scene where he cracks the egg with his bare hand was not scripted,and the look of surprise on Polly Bergen's face was indeed real.Outstanding film.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 May 1962 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

The Executioners See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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