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Cape Fear (1962)


David Von Pein
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Classic--Movies.blogspot.com / Cape Fear (1962)

"1962's 'Cape Fear' should certainly keep any first-time watcher on pins and needles. Watch and see how it suspensefully unfolds. Many memorable scenes await the viewer. The film holds up very nicely the 23rd time it's viewed as well. A classic always does. .... As the film opens, we see a cigar-smoking Max Cady walking toward the courthouse to meet his "prey" (Gregory Peck, playing "Sam Bowden"). Cady's self-assured gait and somewhat cocky manner, as we watch him leisurely making his way down the street, give us a good indication as to the kind of man Cady is. He leers lustfully at a couple of women who are leaving the courts building; and he shows us his self-absorbed demeanor when he walks right past a woman on a staircase who has just dropped one of the many books she is carrying, without Cady offering even a cursory glance of care or concern. These silent and subtle initial "Cady touches" in the James Webb screenplay provide the audience with a perfect introduction to Cady's character."

 

-- David Von Pein; November 2005

Amazon.com/DVP Review

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TCM Page -- tcm.com/tcmdb/title/70207/Cape-Fear

Edited by David Von Pein
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I think it was the Scorsese remake of Cape Fear that made a lot of filmgoers take another look again at the original. I may be wrong, but I have a feeling that the 1962 CF had been a bit forgotten until then.

 

Interestingly, when Gregory Peck was in Toronto for a 1964 promotion of Behold a Pale Horse he was asked by a reporter what he thought was his worst film.

 

His reply: "Cape Fear, if you want a real turkey."

 

With Peck's cameo appearance in the remake almost 30 years later, perhaps he had a reappraisal of the film by then.

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  • 4 months later...

I think it was the Scorsese remake of Cape Fear that made a lot of filmgoers take another look again at the original. I may be wrong, but I have a feeling that the 1962 CF had been a bit forgotten until then.

 

Interestingly, when Gregory Peck was in Toronto for a 1964 promotion of Behold a Pale Horse he was asked by a reporter what he thought was his worst film.

 

His reply: "Cape Fear, if you want a real turkey."

 

With Peck's cameo appearance in the remake almost 30 years later, perhaps he had a reappraisal of the film by then.

Peck may or may not have been a good actor, but he was a lousy critic.

EDIT: In most of his films Peck was so noble I wanted to slap his face. But I thought he was first rate in MOBY D*CK. 

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I like both versions of Cape Fear.

 

They are classic "stalking" films, with the actors, cars, and clothes fitting their own era. Both stalkers are frightening.

 

This is one of the few re-makes that I like.

Mitchum was terrifying precisely because he never raised his voice. I found DeNiro, whose work I usually admire, to be so over the top that he was cartoonish. To each his own....

 

In the original, Barrie Chase, who was such a good dancer that she appeared as Fred Astaire's partner, gave a very effective performance as one of Mitchum's victims.

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