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The Wrong Man 1956

4.2 out of 5 stars (40) IMDb 7.5/10

Manny Ballestero is an honest hardworking musician at New York's Stork Club. When his wife needs money for dental treatment, Manny goes to the local insurance office to borrow on her policy. Employees at the office mistake him for a hold-up man who robbed them the year before and the police are called. The film tells the true story of what happened to Manny and his family.

Starring:
Henry Fonda, Vera Miles
Runtime:
1 hour, 45 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Thriller, Crime
Director Alfred Hitchcock
Starring Henry Fonda, Vera Miles
Supporting actors Anthony Quayle
Studio Warner Bros.
BBFC rating Parental Guidance
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Not one of Hitch's most famous fiom, this is a little classic with all the best qualities of the Master. A focus on a man and a mystery, a context of characters and places which becomes fastly familiar and make viewer feel more and more into it. Great suspense and twists. An excellent blak and white. Music and sound fx that make the atmosphere even more tense. A playful mice and cat chase with a human drama perfectly embodied by the expressive and sympatethique performance of Henry Fonda. Waitin for the blu ray release
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Format: DVD
At the age of 5, Hitch's father called the police to teach him a lesson after he misbehaved. The policeman took his job rather seriously and locked young Hitch for a few minutes in a cell. This left quite an impression on Hitchcock and may explain the love/hate relationships he had with the police, evident in his films.

Hitch dealt with the theme of wrongly-accused person fighting for his innocence in Young and Innocent (1937). Here, in The Wrong Man (1956), he returns and expand on the theme. It is about a man is tried for crimes committed by a look-alike robber. This is a far better movie, with the legendry Henry Fonda who was, as ever, superb.

The Wrong Man is a serious film. You will notice that from the first moment, as Hitch presents the film in his own particular way. He stands in the dark, we don't see his face, only hear him saying that this is a true story, based on real facts that are hard to imagine, but yet true. From then on, the focus is on Fonda who carries the majority of the film on his shoulders. Hitch even avoided his usual cameo appearances as he did not wish us to distract even for a minute from the misfortunes of the wrongly-accused man.

Henry Fonda, one of Hollywood all-time greatest actors, plays musician Manny Balestrero, a man who leads a quiet life with his wife and two boys, when one day he is believed to be a serial armed robber. Manny is arrested and charged with the crimes. He is identified by several witnesses, and his life break apart. Fonda is quiet, contained, submissive, in a place where he does not belong, playing in accordance to rules he does not understand. When he is able to somehow collect himself, his wife Rose (Vera Miles), so terribly distraught by the ordeal, losses her sanity.
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Format: DVD
At its heart playing up one of Hitch’s greatest obsessions, that of the innocent man accused (and incarcerated), this 1956 film, starring Henry Fonda as the 'steady’ family man and jazz musician Manny Balestrero in the dock for an insurance company robbery, was also heavily sold on its being based on a true story. It fits more in the mould of intimate, serious, character-based drama, rather than having any expansive plot (or, indeed, moments of light-hearted relief), and is another of the director’s explorations of the psychological effects of guilt (real or otherwise), touched on in many of his films, perhaps most notably in the likes of Spellbound, Rope, I Confess, Vertigo, Psycho and Marnie. For The Wrong Man, Hitch (and cinematographer Robert Burks) reverted to shooting in black-and-white, thereby enhancing the film’s near-documentary look and feel, as well as its predominantly sombre, claustrophobic mood, and Bernard Herrmann provides an appropriately melancholic, ominous and haunting score.

Acting-wise, The Wrong Man is very much a two-hander, and Hitchcock struck gold in (perhaps obviously) casting 'honest, upstanding’ Henry Fonda as his hero, married to (an also impressive) Vera Miles’ loyal, but increasingly morose and paranoid, wife, Rose. It is difficult to think of anyone who might be better than Fonda in this role (James Stewart?) – his stunned disbelief palpable, staring into the distance as circumstances (and coincidences) conspire against him during the film’s first hour – as effective a depiction of the devastating, disorienting effect of a criminal justice system as you’re likely to see.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Good solid drama that has lost little punch over the years as the plot retains interest throughout the film's running time. I prefer Hitch's later works to be honest (from the 50s on) but this is still a beautifully crafted production with not a shot out of place. I am pleased to report that picture quality is very good on this blu ray release. A satisfying evening's entertainment. But what else would one expect from the much missed Master?
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
An excellent film based on a true story. I have had a copy of this film that I recorded off the TV many years ago but decided that as I liked this film and will watch it occasionally I would like a proper recording. And this copy, although used, cost me only £1-88 including postage. Henry Fonda as usual plays an excellent part as do the other stars. I suppose it was so easy in those days to be an innocent person accused of a crime they did not commit.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one of them Hitchcock titles that he didn't make with Universal so it isn't in any of the large Hitchcock boxsets, I got this so cheap by itslef though, it's just a great film, Fonda is superb. Buy it!
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