7.3/10
146,590
272 user 131 critic

Cape Fear (1991)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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

Writers:

John D. MacDonald (novel), James R. Webb (earlier screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
1,060 ( 523)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Cape Fear (1962)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A lawyer's family is stalked by a man he once helped put in jail.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, Polly Bergen
Casino (1995)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A tale of greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends: a mafia enforcer and a casino executive, compete against each other over a gambling empire, and over a fast living and fast loving socialite.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci
Raging Bull (1980)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The life of boxer Jake LaMotta, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside of it.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop Al Capone; because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small, hand-picked team.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro
Mean Streets (1973)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A small-time hood aspires to work his way up the ranks of a local mob.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, David Proval
After Hours (1985)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An ordinary word processor has the worst night of his life after he agrees to visit a girl in Soho who he met that evening at a coffee shop.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Griffin Dunne, Rosanna Arquette, Verna Bloom
Carlito's Way (1993)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A Puerto Rican former convict, just released from prison, pledges to stay away from drugs and violence despite the pressure around him and lead on to a better life outside of N.Y.C.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Al Pacino, Sean Penn, Penelope Ann Miller
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1863, Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points area of New York City seeking revenge against Bill the Butcher, his father's killer.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day-Lewis
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Aspiring comic Rupert Pupkin attempts to achieve success in show business by stalking his idol, a late night talk-show host who craves his own privacy.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Diahnne Abbott
Taxi Driver (1976)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action, while attempting to liberate a twelve-year-old prostitute.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Haunted by the patients he failed to save, an extremely burned-out Manhattan ambulance paramedic fights to maintain his sanity over three fraught and turbulent nights.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Patricia Arquette, John Goodman
The Aviator (2004)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A biopic depicting the early years of legendary Director and aviator Howard Hughes' career from the late 1920s to the mid 1940s.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert De Niro ... Max Cady
Nick Nolte ... Sam Bowden
Jessica Lange ... Leigh Bowden
Juliette Lewis ... Danielle Bowden
Joe Don Baker ... Claude Kersek
Robert Mitchum ... Lieutenant Elgart
Gregory Peck ... Lee Heller
Martin Balsam ... Judge
Illeana Douglas ... Lori Davis
Fred Dalton Thompson ... Tom Broadbent
Zully Montero Zully Montero ... Graciella
Craig Henne Craig Henne ... Prisoner
Forest Burton Forest Burton ... Prisoner
Edgar Allan Poe IV Edgar Allan Poe IV ... Prisoner
Rod Ball ... Prisoner
Edit

Storyline

Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte)is a small-town corporate attorney/"Leave It to Beaver" type family-man. Max Cady (Robert De Niro) is a tattooed, cigar-smoking, bible-quoting, rapist. What do they have in common? Fourteen years, ago Sam was a public defender assigned to Max Cady's rape trial, and he made a serious error: he hid a document from his illiterate client that could have gotten him acquitted. Now, the cagey, bibliophile Cady has been released, and he intends to teach Sam Bowden and his family a thing or two about loss. Written by James Craver

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There is nothing in the dark that isn't there in the light. Except fear. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 November 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cabo de miedo See more »

Filming Locations:

Florida, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$79,100,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$103,200,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (as Dolby Stereo SR)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Fangoria Magazine was barred from covering the film, because Universal, Steven Spielberg, and Martin Scorsese saw the film as a thriller, not a horror film. They were also barred from covering The Silence of the Lambs (1991) for similar reasons. See more »

Goofs

In the bedroom, Leigh Bowden's earring disappears and reappears. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Danielle: My reminiscence. I always thought that for such a lovely river the name is mystifying: "Cape Fear". When the only thing to fear on those enchanted summer nights was that the magic would end and real life would come crashing in.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Later half of the credits are played to the sound of nighttime crickets. See more »

Connections

References Vertigo (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Mess with the Voodoo
Written by Graham Drout, Bob Hamphill, Nick Kane and Joe Smith
Performed by Iko Iko
From "Snowstorm In The Jungle" on Kingsnake Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Not Scorcese's best, but pretty good!
12 September 2000 | by Duncan GowersSee all my reviews

Martin Scorcese's filmography as director is one of the most accomplished in modern film history. While Cape Fear can't even hold a candle next to "Taxi Driver", "Raging Bull" and "Goodfellas", it is still a fabulous remake of the 1962 noir classic and it keeps the viewer on the edge right through until the closing credits.

Robert De Niro (in yet another brilliant teaming with Scorcese behind the camera) plays Max Cady, a psychopathic rapist who was sent to jail 14 years earlier for such crimes. He leaves prison with vengeance. Not for his victims or his prosecutor, but his defence councillor, Sam J. Bowden, played by Nick Nolte. It seems Bowden did not defend Cady to the best of his ability. Cady knows this and wants some payback.

Cady's initial return into Bowden's life could not have come at a worse time. Bowden has been forced to move his family to Florida after his infidelities threatened his marriage and career. His wife is distrustful and worst of all, Bowden is on the verge of beginning another affair with a female workmate. Added to that, his daughter is at the difficult age of 15.

Almost by ozmosis, Cady understands these problems in the Bowden household and acts on them. He begins terrorising Bowden and his whole family, taking it from one extreme to the next.

What makes Cape Fear such a good film is the rapidly increasing sense of claustrophobia. Scorcese makes a point of using almost only close up shots towards the end of the film. It is a great touch that makes the viewer that much more scared as the film goes on.

Along with that, Robert De Niro is superb as Cady. Only occasionally does the role slip into parody. Mostly he is expertly evil.

Nick Nolte is good if not great, the same for Jessica Lange as Leigh Bowden. It seems as if they were void of any great lines in this film, which is unfortunate given their immense talent. Julliette Lewis is absolutely brilliant as the young daughter, Danielle. She slips effortlessly between curious sexual awakenings, rebellious teen and straight thinking woman. Add in small roles for Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck (the leads of the 1962 version) and you have a great ensemble cast.

So not the best Scorcese film ever, but some tight editing, great camerawork, a haunting theme and devilishly over-the-top acting help make this a frighteningly fun movie to watch. Strongly recommended.


116 of 137 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 272 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed