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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frightening story of revenge
The intense 1962 thriller stars Gregory Peck as Sam Bowden, a lawyer who is stalked by ex-con Max Cady (Robert Mitchum). It seems Peck withheld evidence in Cady's trial, and by doing so, helped send him to prison for years. Now Cady's out, and wants to get even by hurting Sam's wife (Polly Bergen) and daughter. They hide in a house boat moored in Cape Fear, knowing Cady...
Published on 19 May 2005 by Kona

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Bluray Picture Quality; Standard DVD has the extras!
The Movie:

Remarkable thriller, with both Greg Peck and Robert Mitchum, giving flawless performances. Mitchum, being far more entertaining as a bad guy, than his forgettable good guy film noir roles. This movie is far more chilling and enjoyable than the terrible Martin Scorsese remake!

The Picture Quality:

Again picture is outstanding,...
Published 13 months ago by Brett


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frightening story of revenge, 19 May 2005
By 
Kona (Emerald City) - See all my reviews
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The intense 1962 thriller stars Gregory Peck as Sam Bowden, a lawyer who is stalked by ex-con Max Cady (Robert Mitchum). It seems Peck withheld evidence in Cady's trial, and by doing so, helped send him to prison for years. Now Cady's out, and wants to get even by hurting Sam's wife (Polly Bergen) and daughter. They hide in a house boat moored in Cape Fear, knowing Cady will do anything to get revenge.
Gregory Peck is outstanding as the dedicated attorney and desperate family man. Mitchum is so creepy and slimy in this film you'll be breathless watching his performance, which surely is one of his best. Every ounce of him seethes with hatred and evil. Polly Bergen and Lori Martin, as the daughter, are convincingly terrified as the ex-con gets closer and closer.
This version of the film is better than the remake, thanks to the fine acting of the stars and a script that will keep you on the edge of your seat. If you like chilling movies, you'll love Cape Fear.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "You have to know him to feel the threat...", 12 Jan 2008
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Cape Fear (1962) (DVD)
J. Lee Thompson's 1962 version of Cape Fear may not be a masterpiece, but in everyway it's a superior thriller to Martin Scorsese's horribly misjudged remake. More surprisingly, it's also much nastier even with the heavier censorship of the day - Robert Mitchum's treatment of Polly Bergen in the last reel is startlingly violent and disturbing even now and its still shocking to see an early 60s film that revolves around sex crimes. There's no doubt exactly what's on Mitchum's mind, whether he's eyeing up a pickup in a bar or breaking an egg in his fist and smearing the yolk over the mother's shoulders and neck: like a lazy reptile waiting to casually catch a fly with his tongue, he merely has to look at Gregory Peck's underage daughter to exude menace. Where the remake offered a dysfunctional family forced to come together, the original offers something much more anarchic, as Gregory Peck's Mr Civil Liberties gradually comes to realize that the only way to protect his All-American family from Mitchum's strutting lizard-like vengeful ex-con is play dirty himself and plan his murder using his own daughter as bait. He may be playing another small-town southern lawyer, but he's is as far way from Atticus Finch as Mitchum's seedy, cocky but thoroughly self-aware Max Cady is from his self-deluding self-righteous `preacher' Harry Powell.

While Mitchum and Peck occupy centre-stage, James Webb's tight script ensures the supporting cast make a strong impression too as they usher Peck further down the path to murder: Martin Balsam's sympathetic police chief who'll bend the law a little to harass an ex-con for a solid citizen, Telly Savalas (with hair) as a pragmatic private eye who is not above calling in as little help from the wrong side of tracks and Jack Kruschen, not playing Jewish for a change, as Cady's mouthpiece who knows just how to use the law to protect the guilty. Aided immensely by Samuel Leavitt's menacing black and white photography and Bernard Herrmann's dramatically sinister score, Thompson's direction is right on target throughout: he may not have been one of the great directors, but he knew how to tell a story without losing the characters along the way, and he's at the top of his game here. It may not be quite a classic, but it is a strikingly effective thriller, albeit an undeniably nasty one.

Unusually for a film of the period, this boasts a surprisingly excellent DVD, with a good widescreen black and white transfer and plenty of extras, from a half hour documentary (though sadly only Thompson and Peck contribute, with Mitchum notably absent), production notes, a well-designed stills montage and the original theatrical trailer. Aside from the production notes these are carried over to the region-free US Blu-ray but have all been excluded from the UK and European Blu-ray release.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fearful "Cape", 6 Nov 2006
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cape Fear (1962) (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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but not great blu-ray, 7 Jun 2012
By 
A. Moncrieff (up your a s s) - See all my reviews
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The film looks and sounds great. It's in the theatrical display aspect of 1.85:1 and a good solid DTS 2.0 stereo track, which is as it should be (5.1 remixes tend to sound too hissy for older films I find), but there are no extras at all, which is disappointing.
The experience of watching this film on BD is great - the contrast is just as it should be, deep blacks, pale whites and a gritty grey in between. Lots of definition. Minimal print damage is visable and the only blu-ray from this period that looks better I can think of is The Twilight Zone Season sets, which seem just a bit sharper, but then again, those use the whole of the frame whereas this is a cropped widescreen copy, so that seems understandable.

Very happy, as I love the film (and the remake I bought with it, of course), but there are no extras, which is a downer. Also, minor gripe, I hate the menu! just a bunch of symbols. It takes 10 seconds to work out what they are, which isn't very long, but I'd rather not had to waste the time :)
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Blu-ray!, 19 Oct 2011
By 
Lars Sandell (Sweden) - See all my reviews
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In short: This is the way older black and white films should look - and sound - on our home video systems. Absolutely beautiful transfer to Blu-ray!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Max Cady isn't a man who makes idle threats., 11 July 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Cape Fear [DVD] (DVD)
Max Cady is fresh out of prison and down in Florida looking for someone in particular. That person is lawyer Sam Bowden, the man who Cady holds responsible for his years of incarceration. Once Bowden realises that Cady is out for revenge, and that his family are in serious danger, he turns to the police for help, but unable to get help from them, he goes outside of the law, and all parties are heading for the foreboding place known as Cape Fear.

Brilliant villainy, unnerving story and suspense pouring from every frame, Cape Fear is an abject lesson in how to produce a quality thriller. Based on a novel called The Executioners written by John D. MacDonald, the piece is bolstered by some perfect casting decisions and by having a director able to pace with precision, thus it stands tall and proud as a highlight in a tough old genre. Robert Mitchum is Cady, a big hulking man with an immoral face, he terrifies purely by his undaunted objectives, with Mitchum clearly revelling in such a role. As Bowden we have Gregory Peck, playing it right as the uptight and stiff lawyer forced to find toughness from within. Backed up by excellent cameos from Martin Balsam, Telly Savalas and Polly Bergen, Cape Fear also features one of Bernard Herrmann's finest scores, a complete and utter nerve shredder that hangs in the ears long after the film has finished.

What lifts this above many of its thriller peers is that its dialogue is firmly accentuated by the character portrayals, watch as Cady calmly digresses about how he learnt the law in prison, or how he seeps with deviant sexual aggression when confronting the Bowden women, it's badness personified and literally a force of evil, so much so that the breaking of an egg is metaphorically a portent of pain unbound. Director J. Lee Thompson's career shows him to have been a steady if unspectacular director at times, but he directs this with no amount of zip and he deftly reins it in for a stifling last quarter at the Cape Fear bayou. Along with his cinematographer, Sam Leavitt, Thompson expertly uses shadow and light to consistently keep the feeling of dread looming as much of a hostile presence as Bobby Mitchum is throughout the play.

By the time the finale reveals its denouement, it's hoped that you are as living on your nerves as this particular viewer always is when viewing this clinically sharp piece of thriller cinema. 9/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 25 May 2014
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This review is from: Cape Fear (1962) (DVD)
I have seen the most recent Cape Fear film played by the legendary De Niro......but Robert Mitchum is outstanding in the original. His screen presence is electric and he portrays unease and danger in every scene. It is truly a great film and seems way before its time, the opening credits will send shivers down your spine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a very good film, 14 Aug 2013
This review is from: Cape Fear (1962) (DVD)
I have to say that in every respect the film is good to the point of excellent. All the actors are superb and the action and direction sew a feasible storyline and plot together admirably.
I have not given it a top ranking of five stars simply because the ending is a bit hollow despite the horror of the family's ordeal. I suppose the idea is to create a sense of awe regarding the evil spirit which might abide in some individuals, driving them to the extreme to mutilate and destroy and only the ferocity of nature itself can match such evil. Or perhaps I am being too fanciful in my conjecture. I would have liked to see the villain upended by his own sadistic desire to inflict pain and maybe some realisation by him of his villainy and even his lunacy. . perhaps too subtle .. anyway.. stories which are bound to see the goodies win often lack a final punch to make us sit up.
A major goof....should have been for the De Niro version.. sorry if I have caused any confusion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Bluray Picture Quality; Standard DVD has the extras!, 26 Jun 2013
The Movie:

Remarkable thriller, with both Greg Peck and Robert Mitchum, giving flawless performances. Mitchum, being far more entertaining as a bad guy, than his forgettable good guy film noir roles. This movie is far more chilling and enjoyable than the terrible Martin Scorsese remake!

The Picture Quality:

Again picture is outstanding, with a genuine 3 dimension sense of realism to everything from clothes to shiny Chevrolet vehicles. What bluray was made for, and far in excess of dvd versions.

Extras:

Now comes the painful problems ... everything has been wiped clean from this standard bluray release. NO fascinating documentary, or trailer, featured on the standard dvd release! Also the screen ratio, never seems to quite fit, and the menu is a pain to navigate, sending you right back to initial loading (5 miniutes waiting time) with the slightest mistake! Buy this for its beautiful picture quality, then find the cheap dvd for all the extra material.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The earlier and better version., 14 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Cape Fear (1962) (DVD)
Robert Mitchum is deeply scary in his role as a convict seeking revenge on the family of the lawyer who sent him to prison.
There are some tremendous twists and turns in the plot. Not for the faint hearted!
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Cape Fear (1962)
Cape Fear (1962) by J. Lee Thompson (DVD - 2008)
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