7.3/10
174,051
347 user 136 critic

Cape Fear (1991)

Trailer
2:34 | Trailer
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 »
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Popularity
1,152 ( 34)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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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 Thompson ... Tom Broadbent (as Fred Dalton Thompson)
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
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Storyline

Imprisoned for brutally assaulting a young girl, Max Cady spends his time in jail wisely - reading literature, sculpting his body to perfection and planning his violent revenge on the defence lawyer who put him behind bars. After serving his fourteen year sentence, Cady is released from prison and his rampage begins. Written by BecksyKane

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He learned to read. 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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Drew Barrymore screentested for the role of Danielle Bowden, but failed the audition. She later said she had "acted all over the place, and it was just the biggest disaster of my life." See more »

Goofs

At the end of the film, Sam Bowden says that he had to go to hearings before the American Bar Association as a result of his criminal actions toward Cady. But the ABA doesn't license lawyers, nor does it have the authority to disbar them. It is a lobbying group. Bowden would have had to go before the Georgia Bar Association, given that the crime occurred in that state. 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.
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Crazy Credits

At the start of the film, when the Universal Pictures logo appears on screen, instead by studio's theme, sounds from the thunders and rainy is heard, and the logo changes of Egyptian ripple waters. See more »

Alternate Versions

SPOILER: When the movie was originally shown on network television, the blood left by Kersek's killing was optically removed by censors and replaced by a clean tile floor. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in In Living Color: George Bush Meets Tommy Wu (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Do Right Woman--Do Right Man
Written by Dan Penn and Chips Moman
Performed by Aretha Franklin
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

Better than 1962 version
23 July 2002 | by findlay_millSee all my reviews

It speaks volumes for Scorsese's reputation that a disappointing film for him is still worth a good 7 out of 10.

When it comes down to it, this 1991 version is so much more watchable and enjoyable than the first. Perhaps the new version's morally-complex screenplay and dynamic cinematography highlight the fact that the old Cape Fear is a bit static and, well, dull.

That's not to say the new version is perfect. The afore-mentioned cinematography, while unsettling at first (especially DeNiro virtually walking through the camera), eventually grates. Why do we need to see extreme close-ups and dramatic zooms of locks being closed?

In fact, it is bizarre that the parts of the film not set in Cape Fear are by far the best, what with the genuinely weird death of the private investigator and the 'I don't whether to look at him or read him' line from Robert Mitchum. It is in the final twenty minutes that the viewer is left numbed and ultimately tired at the 'kill the b**tard!' histronics the film endlessly subjects us to.

Despite all this, the ultimate compliment is perhaps that The Simpsons chose to parody this version rather than the 1962 version!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 November 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cape Fear See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,261,025, 17 November 1991

Gross USA:

$79,091,969

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$182,291,969
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (as Dolby Stereo SR)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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