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 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.
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Cape fear is at the level of Hitchcock's thrillers in the '40s. Maybe a little more raw and physical, but with the same psychological intensity. The photography work in low key (giving very deep contrasts) is outstanding.
If Harry Powell was not proof enough, Mitchum's Max Cady shows that the man knew how to terrify. Cady is more than just a sociopathic rapist, he's a feral beast rising from the muck of the swamp ready to attack. But he's also witty and urbane, and anything bu dumb. It is an electrifying performance, but Gregory Peck balances him out. Don't miss this sizzling slice of Southern Gothic, it drips with light and shadow.
Cannot believe I have just now only watched this. Thanks J.Can't image anyone playing it more raw and abusive than Mitchum. Peck as Sam, was right choice for antithesis of Cady. .I've never seen the remake, probably never should.That last scene in the backwater, I didn't breathe.Can't wait to let some time pass to rewatch. Yes. up there with the better Hitch films.