Monday, September 6, 2010

"Cape Fear"

Now, I'm talking the original 1961 Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum "Cape Fear". I miss this kind of film. I saw an interview with the director lamenting the censorship they had to endure back then, but he also admitted that he had been told by numerous people that this version was able to get the information across and because (not despite) it being suggestive not outright portrayed, it was indeed even creepier.
The one thing I most assuredly do NOT miss is the female acting. Though I will say it had calmed down quite a bit by this point in time.

Basically Mitchum plays ex-convict Max Cady, who was imprisoned due to testimony given by Gregory Peck's character, Sam Bowden(who is a lawyer, but was not acting in that capacity at Mitchum's trial). Cady is now out and is randomly showing up to intimidate Bowden, though he's very very careful to not do anything the cops can get him with. Inherent in his conversations is the threat he poses to Bowden's family (wife and teenage daughter). It all leads up to a trap that Bowden sets (which of course puts his family at enormous risk) and the ensuing confrontation. It's reminiscent of Hitchcock - the suspense and the way it's directed and even the music. No shock, come to find out many of those working on the movie had worked with Hitchcock himself. It was redone in 1995 by Scorcese, but from what I hear it did all the things that I think are wrong with today's suspense films (namely thinking the act itself is more suspenseful than the waiting and leading up to). Also, in the original, Bowden's family is a happy loyal family, heaven forbid a movie portray that lately.

No wonder this movie is considered a classic. Truly creeptacular performance by Mitchum, of course Peck is solid, and the performances by the girls are at least more natural than many of their contemporary actress' performances.
One of Cady's creepiest lines - "I made her write me a love letter. Made her use lots of dirty words. Then I ... occupied her time for 3 days... You understand?" *shudder*
Here's a short trailer. Of course, done at that time, so not as great as today's trailers, but you get the point...

1 comment:

CharlieJo said...

love the classics. creeptacular? great descriptive word. ;) Hey, you mentioned Wed workouts?? details! I would totally come now that my oldest is in school. lemme know. I'll show up next week.