7.7/10
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175 user 90 critic

Cape Fear (1962)

Passed | | Drama, Thriller | 20 May 1962 (Canada)
Trailer
2:08 | Trailer
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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Popularity
4,673 ( 51)

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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
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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:

Their ordeal of terror triggers the screen's most savage war of nerves! 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

When Nancy runs into the school, she knocks some papers off a desk. When the man pursuing her follows, the papers are back on the desk. See more »

Quotes

Diane Taylor: [after Cady has beaten her, she prepares to leave town] You can't help me.
Charles Sievers: But I can. Now you file an assault charge and Cady'll get six months in jail.
Diane Taylor: Six months! And after that... When he walked out of this room he said... he said to consider this only a sample. And from my limited knowledge of human nature, Max Cady isn't a man who makes idle threats.
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Connections

Referenced in The Directors: The Films of Martin Scorsese (2000) 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.


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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)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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