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Cape Fear


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Product Details

  • Actors: Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, Polly Bergen, Telly Savalas
  • Directors: J. Lee Thompson
  • Writers: James R. Webb
  • Producers: Sy Bartlett
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Collector's Edition, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: September 18, 2001
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005LC4D
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,984 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cape Fear" on IMDb

Special Features

  • The Making of Cape Fear
  • Production Photographs
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • DVD-ROM Features

  • Editorial Reviews

    Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum star in Hollywood's classic tale of revenge and murder. Robert Mitchum is unforgettable as Max Cady, an ex-con determined to exact a terrible revenge on Sam Bowden (Gregory Peck) and his family. Sam is a small-town lawyer whose worst nightmare comes true when the criminal he helped put away returns to stalk his beautiful young wife (Polly Bergen) and teenage daughter (Lori Martin). Despite help from the local police chief (Martin Balsam) and a private detective (Telly Savalas), Sam is legally powerless to keep Max from playing his sadistic game of cat and mouse. Finally, Sam must put his family's lives at stake in a deadly trap that leads to one of the most suspenseful and heart-pounding confrontations ever committed to film. Director J. Lee Thompson builds tension with each scene leading to a deadly showdown at Cape Fear. This is truly a masterpiece of shock and suspense.

    Customer Reviews

    Suspenseful, well written, great cast.
    Strawgold
    Mitchum's subtle style of menacing, which seems paradoxical, but works, is far more effective at eliciting the viewers rapt attention.
    Hillary
    Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum did a good performance.
    ILEANA MARGARITA

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Reginald D. Garrard VINE VOICE on April 3, 2004
    Format: VHS Tape
    Prior to his Oscar-winning role as lawyer Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird", Gregory Peck portrayed another attorney in 1962's "Cape Fear", a psychological thriller also starring Robert Mitchum in one of his most despicable roles.
    No two actors were better suited than these two. Their characters are a definite study in contrast. Peck's Sam Bowden is a civilized intellectual forced to resort to some underhanded means to protect his family and himself from the treacherous taunts of Mitchum's crude, rude antagonist. Tension builds as the two men make a final confrontation at the location of the film's title.
    Polly Bergen and Lorie Martin as Peck's respective wife and daughter are quite good a show a strength of character rare for women in the early 60's. They are not just "screaming Mimi's".
    Martin Balsam, Jack Krushen and a pre-Kojak Telly Savalas round out a superlative cast; Barrie Chase is also quite memorable as a woman that runs afoul of the Mitchum's sadistic Max Cady.
    Southern locations and crisp cinematography provide a picturesque yet menacing background and look.
    To top off the film off is another remarkable score from Bernard Herrmann. Music by the late composer elevates this already superior thriller to a higher level.
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    24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Hillary on September 29, 2002
    Format: DVD
    The late great classic acting talents of Robert Mitchum are showcased in this 1962 classic, reproving his ability to play the villain with unsurpassed expertise, as in the former 1955 classic "Night of The Hunter".

    Here, Mitchum plays Max Cady, a menacing figure with a perpetual lit cigar and Panama Hat. He has come to town after being released from jail to visit and wreak revenge on the man who put him there, enter Sam, played by Gregory Peck. From their initial reunion in the town parking lot, Cady lets Peck have a peek at what's on his mind. From that moment on, there are grippingly suspenseful encounters between the two men and even worse, threats to his wife played by Polly Bergen, and his daughter, in a rather ineffectual role considering what she goes through when encountering Cady. Particularly amusing is a scene in the beginning of the film. Cady casually watches the family bowl, while harrassing a waitress and having a beer. The expression on Pecks face as his Sam character looks up, and spots those sinister leering eyes peering from a nearby table at his family, is classic.

    What needs to be mentioned more than the great direction, pacing and script, is the believabilty of the sociopath depicted, that Mitchum brings to startling low-life on the screen. He is truly mesmerizing in his sleepy-eyed evil countenance. His gaze, cigar in mouth, hat pulled low, will raise your hair as you watch him. He moves toward his victims in a slow and deliberate manner, and speaks his lines with that commanding voice that he was so famous for. When picked up for questioning, he hilariously mocks Pecks' Sam, calling him casually by name, "Why, Say-im..." and then as "counselor" refering to his lawyer status. My favorite Mitchum line here?
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    6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Noirdame on March 1, 2006
    Format: DVD
    When I first saw J. Lee Thompson's film I was on the edge of my seat. It is a scary thriller without showing buckets of blood, graphic violence, monster make-up, or even using the word "rape".

    A bitter, amoral, psychopathic ex-con, Max Cady (the incomparable Robert Mitchum), recently released from an eight-year prison term, is out for revenge against the man who testified against him at his trial, lawyer Sam Bowden (the late, great, Gregory Peck). He infiltrates into Sam's life, stalking his lovely wife, Peggy (Polly Bergen, no shrinking violet), and his pretty, innocent teenage daughter, Nancy (the appropriately sweet Lori Martin). Sam does everything legally possible (for the time, before anti-stalking laws came into place) to protect his family, but he finds he is powerless under the law, and Cady is very intelligent in his planning. It all ends in a showdown on the river Cape Fear.

    Let me just say that this movie has an advantage over the 1991 remake. Cady doesn't have to be covered in tattoos or act like Freddy Krueger to be terrifying. The word "rape" doesn't have to be mentioned nor does the offense have to be shown to us graphically (since the censors of the time forbade it) for the viewer to understand and comprehend what is going on. The performances are all right on, and even when Barrie Chase's Diane Taylor is assaulted, we don't have to be told that she was raped, because it's implied and it's written all over her bruised, traumatized face. Her portrayal of this victimized and frightened young woman is impeccable - why didn't she have a longer career?
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    6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15, 2001
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    Originals are almost always superior to remakes, and that holds true here. I like Robert DeNiro as an actor, but Robert Mitchum absolutely shines as Max Cady. I totally agree with others who have stated Robert Mitchum's talents were never fully appreciated. And his role in Cape Fear showcases his versatility as compared to other Mitchum films such as "Heaven Knows Mr. Allison" or "The Sundowners".
    Mitchum's character Max Cady serves as a constant reminder that there are just plain bad people in this world. Not necessarily warped or sick (such as Anthony Perkins in "Psycho"), but just plain bad. No rehabilitation for this guy. After nearly a decade in jail his first thought is to seek revenge on the lawyer that helped put him there. Sure, he could have beaten Gregory Peck to a pulp or simply killed him, but that would have been too easy. Cady decides to torment Peck by threatening his family, a far scarier prospect for any husband and father.
    Director Lee Thompson puts Mitchum's looming physical presence to good use, giving us a number of shots of his larger than life chest (sometimes it almost appears as though Mitchum inhales and holds it in, but that's nit-picking). He's not "cut" by today's body-building standards, but that makes him all the more believable and menacing. It's clear Peck (nor few other men) would be a match for him, not to mention Mitchum's "girlfriend". Oh, I forgot. Cady likes to beat her in his spare time. (Like I said, just a bad person).
    But it's Mitchum's acting that's the grease of this movie. His shifty half-open eyes, his delivery and movements. It's definitely an unforgettable performance.
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