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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.
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?Read more ›
The above words were spoken by a bloodied "Max Cady" in the original (1962) version of "Cape Fear", which is a suspense-filled masterpiece that remains one of my favorite movies of this genre. The film, which was known as "The Executioners" during the actual shooting of the picture (the title of the 1957 John D. MacDonald novel on which the movie was based), first appeared on American theater screens on April 12th, 1962.
That Max Cady is one scary dude! No doubt about that. Portrayed to perfection by 44-year-old Robert Mitchum, Cady is presented with full intensity in "Cape". We get the impression, and rightly so, that Mr. Cady is relentless in his pursuit of "Sam Bowden" and his family. Nothing is going to stop him. And Sam (Gregory Peck) knows this too.
Therefore, drastic measures are needed to fight this awesome menace. Watch and see how it suspensefully unfolds. Many memorable scenes await the viewer here -- scenes that look all the greater thanks to the handsome Anamorphic Widescreen print of the movie that has been encoded onto this DVD. The black-and-white photography looks solid as a rock on this disc.
As the film opens, we see a cigar-smoking Max Cady walking toward the courthouse to meet his "prey" (Bowden). Cady's self-assured gait and somewhat cocky manner, as we watch him leisurely making his way down the street, give us a good indication as to the kind of man Cady is.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The original is better than the new version. But neither one are that interesting.Published 7 days ago by Josi Pastora
The movie Cape Fear is really an excellent thriller of a movie. I give the movie, itself, 5 stars. Robert Mitchum's character is evil personified. Read morePublished 19 days ago by charles w. parker
Cape Fear is a masterpiece in the psychological thriller genre and it doesn't get much better than Cape Fear. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Joeywoodburn
The story: Man (Mitchum) gets out of jail after about 8 years and wants to get even with the witness (who also happens to be a lawyer played by Gregory Peck) who testified against... Read morePublished 1 month ago by book lover
Classic movie. I forgot how good a creepy and menacing actor Mitchum could be, but after watching this again and Night Of the Hunter I was reminded of just how well he played those... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Daystrom
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