5.0 out of 5 stars As usual,the original is the film to treasure!
This film is quite nerve-wracking. Robert Mitchum is at his creepiest, and Gregory Peck is stellar. This is a chilling film for 1962, quite ahead of its time. You will rember this film!
Published 4 months ago by Shane Cawley
0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars UGH!
This movie was horrible! Mitchum and Peck are so dumb and bad actors. There wasn't even a plot. Don't see it, you'll be dissappointed! :(
Published on Jun 22 2003
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5.0 out of 5 stars As usual,the original is the film to treasure!,
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This review is from: Cape Fear [Blu-ray] [Import] (Blu-ray)This film is quite nerve-wracking. Robert Mitchum is at his creepiest, and Gregory Peck is stellar. This is a chilling film for 1962, quite ahead of its time. You will rember this film!
5.0 out of 5 stars Fearful,
This review is from: Cape Fear (Widescreen) (DVD)Sometimes, the most terrifying monsters are the ones that look just like humans.
And one such monster is at the heart of "Cape Fear," one of the most harrowing movies from Hollywood's golden age. Rather than a straightforward thriller, this movie explores how sometimes both crime and justice can go outside the law -- and how far some people will go for revenge.
Sam Bowden (Gregory Peck) sent Max Cady (Robert Mitchum) to prison for rape, eight years ago. Now Cady has been released, and is determined to settle the old score -- and Bowden's wife and teenage daughter are next. Bowden tries to get the police to help, but until Cady breaks a law, they can't do anything.
And so Cady begins his vendetta against Bowden -- he stalks Bowden's daughter and poisons the dog. He rapes a young woman, then frightens her into not telling. As Bowden's life becomes a living nightmare, he knows that he will have to go outside the law to deal with Cady -- and he'll have to set a trap.
Hitchcock would have been jealous. Not many movies -- even of his movies -- create the sense of pure evil that "Cape Fear" does. Stalking laws didn't exist back then, and so until a crime was committed and charges were pressed, the police literally could not do a thing.
And that conflict is the heart of "Cape Fear." As a lawyer, Bowden believes firmly in the justice of law at the beginning, but that is shattered when Cady uses the law for himself. J. Lee Thompson illustrates how law and justice aren't the same thing -- Cady is evil but works within the law, while Bowden must go vigilante to keep his innocent family safe.
And J. Lee Thompson does a great job creating this nightmare. Ominous music, shadowy sets, and taut, terrifying sequences that seem a little too real, such as when Cady relentlessly pursues little Nancy around the school. And the dialogue is as tight as the plot ("We're gonna nurse you back to health. And you're strong, Cady. You're gonna live a long life... in a cage!").
Peck and Mitchum are absolutely amazing in this movie. Few actors could pull off the cold, calculating evil of Mitchum's Cady. Rape, murder, pedophilia -- you name it, he'll do it. Peck is equally outstanding as the devoted father and husband, but he is at his best when Bowden is slowly being stretched to the breaking point.
"Cape Fear" is the sort of horror story that can happen in real life, and Peck and Mitchum's performances elevate it into a classic. Absolutely terrifying, amazingly made.
5.0 out of 5 stars "Max Cady isn't a man who makes idle threats!",
This review is from: Cape Fear [Import] (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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece of Suspense,
This review is from: Cape Fear (Widescreen) (DVD)J. Lee Thompson directs this sophisticated cat and mouse thriller starring Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck. Mitchum gives a marvelous performance as Max Cady, the calm yet menacing Max Cady, an ex-con who has been paroled from prison after serving eight years for rape (the word "rape" is never said throughout the entire movie, because back in the times, it wasn't allowed by the censors, but it is implied.) Cady wants revenge on the lawyer who sent him to prison, Sam Bowden, portrayed brilliantly with strong assurance, yet fearfulness by Gregory Peck. He is a man who loves his wife and daughter with all his heart, and soon, Cady begins implying threats involving them. Bowden tries taking matters into his own hands, but it goes awry, and the result is a suspenseful battle between good and evil on Cape Fear River. This film is an absolute classic, with plenty of suspense, witty one-liners, a classic score, and exquisite directing, writing, and performances. It's a movie that the whole family could basically watch, because it's not all that inappropriate for today's times, and not too scary, just a good movie! I don't see why, however, this movie and the remake must be compared so much! The remake is a remake, it is a totally separate thing. The remake, directed by Scorsese, was much more brutal in its depiction, but still a great film. I don't see why people can't just look at it as it's own movie. Anyway, this is a terrific movie that I highly recommend.
4.0 out of 5 stars How I Spent My Summer Vacation,
This review is from: Cape Fear (VHS Tape)Gregory Peck... Robert Mitchum... Martin Balsam... Polly Bergen... Bernard Herrmann... J. Lee Thompson... John R. McDonald... Telly Savalas... Sam Leavitt... James R. Webb...
This list comprises all the pluses that go into making a thriller of lust, revenge, retribution and calculated rumblings of a volcano ready to blow, in Cape Fear. This is not the pale imitation that was directed by Martin Scorcese in 1991. That later production was an unmitigated conglomerate of overacting, blood and heavy violence galore, teamed with a hammed performance by Robert De Niro, although Mitchum and Peck provided small cameos in the film and were a much needed relief from all the pyrotechnics.
In the much better realized original version of Cape Fear, Sam Bowden (Gregory Peck), a lawyer in a laidback Florida town, confronts his worst nightmare in the form of Max Cady (Robert Mitchum), a man he helped to incarcerate 8 1/2 years previously in Baltimore, Maryland. Cady has come to extract the vengeance that he feels is his due, by stalking Bowden, his wife Peggy (Polly Bergen) and young teenage daughter, Nancy (Lori Martin), and wreaking havoc in the process.
A game of psychological cat and mouse entails, with the police chief Mark Dutton (Martin Balsam) and private investigator, Charles Siever (Telly Savalas) being called into play as enforcers and blockers in the line of defense that is orchestrated to prevent Cady from advancing his desires and seeing them come to fruition. The story that develops runs the gamut from law-abiding citizens seeking to remedy the course of events through attrition, to seeing their machinations destroyed through the sly maneuverings of Cady and his knowledge of the very law that is attempting to lasso him in.
Robert Mitchum as Max Cady has a clear grasp of the situation that he has been called to perform. He has gotten into the skin of the beast and emits a persona of a cobra, laying in wait, ready to strike at the drop of a hat at the least bit of invitation, as he sees it. Mitchum has the look of a man who has been around the block more than a few times and in the process, has beaten his way to the top, and left broken bodies and psyches in his wake. He has not the slightest redeeming value to him and his vulgar and crass attitude towards others is noted with due process. He is a bad rash that is so hard to shake and he leaves the scars of an emotional rollercoaster ride in his wake. Mitchum is 'mad, bad and dangerous to know' and that's the way it should be. It can be said that Cady is the devil personified, and one would not be off the mark in its utterance.
Peck's portrayal as Sam Bowden is masterful in its deliberate pacing, as he strays from the upstanding citizen along the path of criminal intent as Cady draws him into the same mire he has called home these past years. Will Bowden become as animalistic as the man stalking his human prey or will upstanding virtues project a revenge that Cady never intended to have happen?
The supporting cast of players lend credence to the appointments they have undertaken. Martin Balsam and Telly Savalas etch memorable sequences, with Savalas taking top honours as the street wise private dick. His Judas goat leading Cady into the final nightmare has that little extra something that conveys a bit of film noir about it. If there is one small fly in the ointment, it is with Lori Martin. Her acting as the teenage daughter of Peck was a little too Lolita-ish, although it was not entirely the fault of the actress. The skimpy shorts outfits sent off the wrong message to the potential pedophile within Cady and to this reviewer. Virginal, they did not look!
The score by Bernard Herrmann was a huge plus, and he wears the moniker of 'master of his craft' with complete credibility. His music takes on the nuances of terror, southern hospitality, warmth, and typical Herrmann in a Hitchcock sort of way. In fact, almost everything about this production of Cape Fear seemed to scream, 'this is a Hitchcock film!' I almost expected to see Hitch make his way across the screen, in a comical cameo, as he is wont to do with his films. A film of this nature would not have been complete without the renderings of this consummate professional.
The black and white photography by Sam Leavitt paints pictures as only this medium can do. The lights and shadows, the sunny days, the dark of night, the portraits of evil and good are brushstroked with a tendency to reveal the true natures of the people they capture.
John D. McDonald's script, based on his novel, The Executioners, is taut and compact. His characters are drawn from everyday life and are set on a course guaranteed to equate the emotions of a small multitude, and to cast a feeling of care and concern from the audience as to what does or does not happen to them. McDonald's feel for the essence of the hatred of Cady and the potential fall from grace that Sam Bowden skirts with, are communicated front and centre.
Direction by J. Lee Thompson is standard fare. He simply holds his flock in minor check, allowing them freedom to let the tale spin itself into the web of terror and horror that we see unfold before us.
It must be reiterated again, that one must not accept 'any imitations.' Cape Fear, the original, is the one to bet your money on. Let the pretenders to the throne allow their death throes and sense of gotterdamerung to thrust itself across the screen. MY Cape Fear is the winner, hands down
5.0 out of 5 stars Robert D. is no match for Robert M.!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Cape Fear (Widescreen) (DVD)Like they always say, the original always outlives the remake. The 1990 Cape Fear with Robert DiNero got great reviews but it doesn't compare to the classic. DiNero's a fine actor but he didn't capture the mysterious quality Robert Mitchem did in this version. DiNero's character was too cocky and came off more like a dweeb than someone you should be frightened of. The plot was excellent. The acting was superb. This is a movie that proves a remake cannot do the original premise justice. Get this movie!
5.0 out of 5 stars The Original......Classic Thrills and Chills,
This review is from: Cape Fear (Widescreen) (DVD)This review refers to the "Cape Fear"(1962) Widescreen DVD edition by Universal.....
"Cape Fear" from 1962 is a terrific example of great film noir. Filmed in black and white, director J.Lee Thompson uses shadows and light, and the art of suggestion(the censors were pretty tough back in the 60's), to bring us this bone-chilling and suspenseful classic that over fourty years later, still, has not lost it's draw. Not unlike many of Hitchcock's films, Thompson has the audience on the edge of their seats,our hearts in our throats, and in fear for the hero.
It's good vs. evil, as Greogory Peck and Robert Mitchum, put their immense talents together for this spine tingler. Max Cady(Mitchum) has just been released from 8 long years in prison. From the moment we meet him, we KNOW this is one bad hombre. He is bent on revenge, and Sam Bowden(Peck) is the man who must pay. Sam's young daughter and beautiful wife are the targets of Max's obssession. He is slick and devious and will stop at nothing to get even. Sam does everything in his power legally to try and stop him, but must take matters into his own hands to protect his family.
Mitchum is simply powerful in his performance of this menacing threat, and Peck as always is perfect in his portrayal of the family man whose life has just turned into one big nightmare!
The transfer to DVD is crisp and sharp. It is presented in anamorphic widescreen(1.85:1)and barely shows it's age. The sound is in Dolby Dig 2.0 Mono. The dialouge as well as the music and background noises are all clear and distguishable.
A thriller that stands the test of time. One that esteemed Director Martin Scorsese chose to pay homage to with a wonderful remake.
Get the popcorn ready and enjoy......Laurie
5.0 out of 5 stars a study in remakes,
This review is from: Cape Fear (Widescreen) (DVD)I remember watching this movie when I was about 11 or 12 years old. I was impressed by a variety of aspects of the movie. Most of all, I was impressed by how utterly evil Robert Mitchum's character was. I was led to believe this by a number of suggestuive scenes. There was one with a lady he picked up. The police later came to interview her to try and get her to testify against him because of what he did to her. She was so terrified that she wanted nothing to do with it. Exactly what he had done to her was left up to our imagination. There was another scene that I would never forget. Initially, I couldn't understand it. Years later, when I saw the movie as a young adult, I was amazed at the power of the symbolism. It was a scene in which Mitchum smears a raw egg over a scared Polly Bergen. I often think of that scene as the difference between movies made in the "old days" and the ones of today. In that scene we have the suggested image of rape that isn't cause to send the younger viewers out of the room.
The remake of "Cape Fear" is probably an enjoyable movie for those who hadn't seen the original one. However, it serves for me as an example of how movie making has lost its' art of suggestive imagery. The remake spells out things a lot more even to the point of obsurdity. As example of obsurdity, consider how Robert DeNiro managed to "follow" Nick Nolte's family to its' hideout. I won't spell it out for those who haven't seen the movie. However, if you think about it, it really isn't possible that it could have actually happened. He would have either been killed or severely burned.
Hollywood had a talent that enabled it to make movies for viewers on all levels. Sure, there were romantic movies that juveniles wouldn't enjoy, shoot-em-up westerns that teenage girls wouldn't enjoy, etc. etc.. However, picking out a pre-1970's movie for the family to watch isn't the moral dilemna that modern movies pose. We either get the simplicity of Disney or the depravity of the R rated with little in between. The original "Cape Fear" had all of the suspense and evil that its' remake had. It was a sort of interactive movie that allowed the viewer to see it on their own level. The remake, while fairly "tame" for a modern R rated movie, puts it all on the screen to see. I realize that it is the audience that fuels the trends. We seem to demand more and more special effects, gore and sex. The original "Cape Fear" is an example of artistic talent that is sacrificed in such a trend.
5.0 out of 5 stars Tight thriller with great acting.,
This review is from: Cape Fear (Widescreen) (DVD)I have decided to write reviews for both the original and remake of the fabulous film back to back.
Gregory Peck play's Sam Bowden an lawyer with a nice family and a good structure around his life. He is unprepared however when Max Cady,Played with fantastic menace by Robert Mitchum, is released from prison and shows up in Bowdens life. Cady is angry with Bowden becouse he testified agianst him at a assault trial that resulted in Cady's incarceration.
Two of the most different actors stay in this fantasticlly paced thriller. Mitchum is scary and itimmidating as Cady while Peck's Bowden is so reserved you wounder just what would happen if they got into a life and death struggle. This movie delivers on all leavels. You care about all the charators and feel a real sense of dread whenever Mitchum comes onto the screen.
I also reviwed the other Cape Fear but forget the remake and see this one instead.
5.0 out of 5 stars Have No Fear? Get Some NOW!,
This review is from: Cape Fear (Widescreen) (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?"You might want to look closer, I've got a few jolts of horse stashed under the collar." as he hands over his shirt to the police. The other great line is to Peck in a bar, as he lets him know that he can't be bought off. When speaking of his dear ex-wife, "Pumped a quart of whiskey in her, tore off her dress, threw away her shoes, and gave her a fair chance to work her way home..." Needless to say, pretty daring for it's time. You will have to find out the rest for yourself, like the scene with the drifter girl Mitchum picks up, and of course, the showdown. .............. Don't even think that Martin Scorcese's subsequent remake comes close to this classic. The excessively demented southern accent and preponderance of large tattoo's on DeNiro, don't make him more frightening than Mitchums' original take on the Max Cady character. Mitchum's subtle style of menacing, which seems paradoxical, but works, is far more effective at eliciting the viewers rapt attention. Besides, the Scorcese version got mired in outside subjects like infidelity from Nick Noltes version of Sam, what for? Let's face it, the original doesn't need any additional subplots to be entertaining. ................. "Cape Fear" is a strange title, refering to the very real location of the story, while it also serves as a perfect double entendre for the utter fright Robert Mitchum delivers within, in an unparalleled style. Don't miss this classic.
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Cape Fear (Widescreen) by J. Lee Thompson (DVD - 2003)