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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 Classic films ..!
It is always a matter of debate as to the quality of remakes, Psycho, Dracula, Night of the Living Dead etc. and Cape Fear is no exception. Where it differs from the other remakes is that Scorsese's 1991 version is, in my opinion, better than the original; on this box set you get the chance to make up your own mind.
The 1962 version is a reflection of the time with...
Published on 20 Dec 2002 by D. J. Beckett

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Two efficient thrillers
Cape Fear (1962) sees Gregoy Peck's lawyer Sam Bowden and his family taunted by the creepy Max Cady, a sex offending criminal who wants revenge on Bowden, after Bowden posed as a witness against Cady. However, not only does Cady harrass the Bowden family, he does it infuiratingly within the law, not leaving an opening for an arrest. Bowden decides that he has to take the...
Published on 31 Oct 2002 by G Griffiths


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 Classic films ..!, 20 Dec 2002
This review is from: Cape Fear Box Set [1961 and 1991] [DVD] [1962] (DVD)
It is always a matter of debate as to the quality of remakes, Psycho, Dracula, Night of the Living Dead etc. and Cape Fear is no exception. Where it differs from the other remakes is that Scorsese's 1991 version is, in my opinion, better than the original; on this box set you get the chance to make up your own mind.
The 1962 version is a reflection of the time with Sam Bowden and his perfect family unit at risk from the unwanted attention of Max Cady, a psychopathic rapist who was jailed on the strength of Bowden's testimony. Robert Mitchum plays Cady superbly, his performance reminds you of the acting masterclass he gave in Night of the Hunter. You feel contempt for Cady with complete sympathy for the helplessness of the situation that Sam Bowden and his family are in.
Martin Scorcese slightly changes and updates the story for the 1991 version. Gone in the squeaky clean Sam Bowden, Nick Nolte plays a womanising lawyer who buried a court report in Robert de Niro's (Cady) trial, evidence that may have got Cady a lesser charge. You feel no sympathy for this Sam Bowden, and this movie has no heroes. As J. Lee Thompson's 1962 version was a reflection of 60's society, the 1991 version is a reflection on 90's society, with amarriage on the rocks and a headstrong daughter who even meets Cady.
Scorcese's version plays on more levels than the original, with tensions between husband and wife and daughter and parents and it is for this reason, as well as de Niro's portrayal of Max Cady that I prefer the 1991 version.
Bernard Hermann's score runs the tempo of both films and is crucial in maintaining the terror, keeping your heart in your throat and making the time run unbearingly slowly.
The extras are good, with the making of both movies, deleted scenes, theatrical trailers for both movies, production notes for both and a behind the scenes featurette from the 1991 movie.
Highly recommended.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very tempting, 5 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Cape Fear Box Set [1961 and 1991] [DVD] [1962] (DVD)
Cape Fear 1962: The dilemma facing any society that cherishes civil liberties is that of deciding whose freedoms it ought to protect at what point the state should intervene. Sam Bowden (Gregory Peck) is a small-town attorney and firm believer in the sanctity of civil liberties until Cady (Robert Mitchum) starts stalking his family. Cady appears as a primal, predatory force hell-bent on destroying the fabric of Bowman's life - a successful career, a lovely family, the respect of those around him - whilst Bowman's guiding principles are increasingly at odds with the need to protect all he has gained for himself. Cady is brilliantly performed by Mitchum as a man entirely without scruples or conscience in the gratification of his desires. J. Lee Thomson shows us a man who will inevitably demand that the comforts of idealism be abandoned and it is this slow realisation from which the film derives much of its tension.
Cape Fear 1991: Time has moved on and Scorcese gives us in Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte) a man clinging to what precious little idealism he has left. In the nineties this is little more than professionalism, cowardice and snivelling hope in the legal system to protect him. The all-American idyll is gone as Bowden has long since lost the respect of his all-American dysfunctional family. Cady (Robert De Niro) can now appear charismatic, both in terms of self-truth and superhuman strength. It's notable how the chase scene of the first film was replaced with the seduction of Bowden's daughter (Juliette Lewis) in the second. Scorcese brings back both Mitchum and Peck (though now on opposite sides of the confrontation) and Bernard Herrmann's (Psycho, Vertigo, Citizen Kane) music rearranged by Elmer Bernstein. Ever the cinematic magpie, it seems sometimes as if Scorcese is throwing everything at this film, especially Hitchcock references. Though this was occasionally distracting on first viewing it may prove more intriguing with repeated viewing.
That these two impressive films are presented together must be a tempting prospect for any film buff.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Two efficient thrillers, 31 Oct 2002
By 
G Griffiths (Liverpool, Merseyside United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cape Fear Box Set [1961 and 1991] [DVD] [1962] (DVD)
Cape Fear (1962) sees Gregoy Peck's lawyer Sam Bowden and his family taunted by the creepy Max Cady, a sex offending criminal who wants revenge on Bowden, after Bowden posed as a witness against Cady. However, not only does Cady harrass the Bowden family, he does it infuiratingly within the law, not leaving an opening for an arrest. Bowden decides that he has to take the law into his own hands, and stop Cady once and for all. This is a classic movie, and whilst not the greatest thriller of all time, still a gem. This plays in a low key tone, feeling much like a B movie - the stark black and white photography really captures the mood. Robert Mitchum's squinty eyed villain is mystrious, cruel, deadly - the way he taunts Bowden, his straight-up, almost misoginistic view of women, his squinted eyes, all add up. There is a genuine sense of dread in Bowden's perfect family, his happy wife his young, innocent daughter, and he - the squeaky-clean lawyer - all feel the pressure. However, there is speculation within the family, as they are too perfect. Well written, well directed and well acted thriller, pretty low key; this movie takes it's time to build up the tension.
Martin Scorsese's 1991 remake is a completey different interpretation of the story - here Cady is a Southern, hillbilly-like, Bible-spurtin' psycho, who stalks (again within the limits) Sam Bowden's just as corrupt family. Here, Bowden isn't squeaky clean - he was Cady's lawyer, and there had played dirty, he had cheated on his wife, he is completely opposing to Peck's earlier incarnation. This is a much more vibrant and visually striking film, using a visual style which would be taken to a much further extreme by Oliver Stone in his 'Natural Born Killers'. This is Scorsese's attempt at a psychological thriller, and proved to be his most succesful film financially. This feels like a comic book strip, the villain feels indestructable, near immortal (emhasised in the bizarre ending) - the colour scheme is excessive, the violence is gratuitous, yet watchable. However, it is the last fifeen minutes that knock this movie down slightly - it is still fitting, yes, just felt different, cut off. Martin Scorsese is an amazing director - my personal favourite - a man who can't really make bad films, and even his lesser are still easily watachable.
Two good thrillers, of two different era's and moods, yet sill both enjoyable, and highly watchable.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Masterpieces, who said remakes are never as good!, 17 Nov 2001
This review is from: Cape Fear Box Set [1961 and 1991] [DVD] [1962] (DVD)
these two films are flawless, the acting in both of the films is excellent! de niro is outstanding as the mad man out for revenge and doesnt let the remake down at all. Its as though the film has evolved to suit different age groups! both films are a must seen and dont take the original for granted!
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Brilliant" a fantastic performance by Robert De Niro!, 16 Jan 2002
By 
John Morgan (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cape Fear Box Set [1961 and 1991] [DVD] [1962] (DVD)
The 1962 original Cape Fear was a classic of it's own staring Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, and Polly Bergen, But then came along Robert De Niro'Who played Cady and his after a little revenge" You will be glued to your sets as this talented actor goes through his motions in this updated version of Cape Fear! Nick Nolte and Jessica Lange also star.
This is a box set given it great value for money.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The scene that had a strong emotional affect on me!, 29 Mar 2005
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This review is from: Cape Fear Box Set [1961 and 1991] [DVD] [1962] (DVD)
I have recently viewed 'Cape Fear' as I am currently studying it in media studies. I was impressed with the acting especially Robert De Niro's performance, he fitted the role of psychopath Max Cady perfectly. There is no doubt about the fact that he stole the show. I particulary taken with the scene where Cady burdens upon the teenage daughter Danielle, (Juliette Lewis)who's part in this scene was spectaular. She played a teenager curious of the mysterious chracter that has embelished himself upon her family. She has a bond with him as she see's someone who indeed pays a lot of attention to the her father, mother and of course herself. He wants to know everything about her and is clearly taken with her. she feels an emotional bond with him and drawn to his charms, this scene which is set at her high school theatre depicts the teenagers personal thoughts and feelings towards this man (cady), this is something that is not previously looked out so naturally it intrests the audiences to be informed of the victims true reactions when faced with someone whom they are fully aware that they are a danger to them. This scene intrested me in many ways it physically highlights cady's reaction when he is in contact with a younger girl. this is highly significant as throughtout the film the audience are aware that he is a convict who was sentanced to prison for 14 years for raping and battering a 16 year old girl. So his contact with Danielle refers back to this information as she is relativly the same age as his previous victims. The scene where he approches her causes the audiences to wonder for the sake of the chracters safety. We have slight doubts that perhaps he may attack her and suspence and tension stirs amoung us. Overall i found the film a storyline which highlights the distress and fear caused between a family, it also shows the strong bond between a father and a convict. it was effective in itself because the chracters made us feel for them. The performances were of high standard. The only weakness and flaw of the film was the last scenes, they let the storyline down. An idea to pull off a successful ending would perhaps to have kept the family in their original home location as this is where a marjority of the film is set. The sudden change becomes somewhat confusing and a little rush. However i was not completly turned off by the ending as i did still enjoy the film. The rest of the plot made up entirly for the downfall of the end.
The only thing i did not understand was why is was titled 'cape fear' when the characters only just moved to the destined location in the last 15 mins of the film. I thought perhaps a good relevant title would be, 'The Killers Kiss' or 'Seductive Fear'
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Cape Fear Box Set [1961 and 1991] [DVD] [1962]
Cape Fear Box Set [1961 and 1991] [DVD] [1962] by J. Lee Thompson (DVD - 2002)
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