All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
The Wrong Man
Somewhere...somewhere there must be the right man!
True story of an innocent man mistaken for a criminal.
An innocent man has nothing to fear, remember that.
The "innocent man wrongly accused" is perhaps Alfred Hitchcock's favorite story to tell. Possibly because it was one of his greatest fears, being accused by the same authorities that can strip away your livelihood. Hitchcock would visit this theme in the 1930s with the brilliant 39 Steps and revisit it in different forms throughout his career right up to the 70s with the underrated Frenzy.
It's appropriate then that Hitchcock would pick this story to tell as one of his rare films based on true events. On the surface The Wrong Man looks like a typical film from…
Truth is stranger than fiction at times and the story of Manny Balestrero is certainly that. The retelling of the real-life saga couldn't have fallen into more fitting hands than Hitchcock's who built an entire career off the back of placing the Everyman inside the most difficult of situations.
There is certainly a different feel to what is essentially a docudrama concentrating on the low level details of Manny's life. Instead of the typical Hitchcock tropes that build in carefully delayed moments of suspense the thrills are low key to make us aware of the effects the arrest has on his life. Whether it is his wife suffering her mental breakdown or viewing the jailing process through his eyes we…
Wow, Hitchcock had a great decade in the fifties. I mean he was always prolific but his creative output in those years alone is remarkably impressive. Rear Window, Strangers on a Train, Vertigo, North by North-West, he was just churning out hits like nobody's business. Now don't get me wrong, he had some gems in the forties too (Shadow of a Doubt anyone?), but I would argue that the Master of Suspense really hit his stride in this decade. However, The Wrong Man can't quite hold it's own against some of his better work, but even lesser Hitchcock is often pretty damn good.
The Wrong Man begins unusually with Alfred Hitchcock himself introducing the movie as a true story. Henry…
#10 in the Reverse Hitchcock Project
The film has an intro from Hitch himself, shown in silhouette, saying this was a different type of thriller than the ones he had done before.
Over the credits we have jaunty dance music, and underneath we see a club band, with maracas, and Henry Fonda on the double bass – a marvellous three minute intro into which to place our man in a recognisable setting.
Then to the subway, and a deserted train (and my goodness doesn’t Jane Fonda resemble her father?), all very ordinary.
I find it interesting that Fonda, by all accounts such a cold man off the screen, can give his characters such warmth and approachability, and so it is…
This somehow feels like an odd man out in Hitchcock's filmography. Based on real events, this feels almost like a fictionalized documentary of sorts. It is distant, methodical and dead serious. No snazzy camera angles, no pitchblack humour, just the story and what it contains.
And I loved it.
Fonda and Miles are absolutely breathtaking in this tale of mistaken identity. Their performances suck you in and once you're there they just won't let go. I was 100% invested and that is not something that happens often with films like this. Fonda's transition from desperation to cooperation to complete and utter fear is astonishing and is what makes…
The most terrifying and consequently least enjoyable Hitchcock movie I've seen. It's based on the true story of an innocent man arrested for armed robbery.
I've often heard the famous story that Alfred Hitchcock was once sent by his father to the local police headquarters and put in jail for a while to learn a lesson. Supposedly this fuelled Hitchcock's mistrust of authority for the rest of his life. In The Wrong Man he basically films this fear and I totally understand it now. Henry Fonda's Manny is put in a cell without being able to tell his wife where he is, accused of a crime by witnesses willing to swear that he's guilty and with no way of proving his innocence. All because there's another guy out there who looks like him, like I said, terrifying.
Henry Fonda and Vera Miles are great but even though it ends the way you expect The Wrong Man is a melancholy watch.
Where Hitch wrings terror and pathos from bored public workers passing around one docile, middle-class and unmistakably innocent man. Critiques of bureaucracy, capitalism and existentialism therein. Intriguing to think of this film in line with Arendt's banality of evil, which this precedes by seven years. What is most startling is how Hitch withholds a happy ending in order to study the protracted and untranslatable trials of mental illness, which grows from Rose's latent, patriarchally-inflicted feelings of inferior self-worth. Potentially more fun as a text than as entertainment, except if you are like me and see those two things as one and the same.
I never would have guessed that The Master at the height of his powers could fashion a film so desperately dull. Watch Henry Fonda get arrested, taken for questioning, get fingered in a lineup, stand for arraignment, go to prison, empty his pockets, count his change, and so on, all in tedious step-by-step detail. This was a personal project for Hitch in that it was a true story that fascinated him, even using some of the actual locations for shooting, but the subject of a wrongly accused man is nothing new to today's more socially conscious citizen. The only remarkable facet of the case is that the distress caused the wrong man's wife (Vera Miles) to be institutionalized for 2 years. Makes The Paradine Case look like Inherit the Wind.
Proving that truth is stranger than fiction (albeit less narratively satisfying), this documentary-flavoured Hitchcock film is intriguingly different from much of the rest of his canon. Vera Miles gives a superb performance but the final scene between her and Fonda, whilst an excellent scene in its own right, doesn't really function as an ending. A double bill screening pairing this with A Woman Under the Influence might offer the resolution required.
A template for so many better Hitchcock films about ordinary folk getting mixed up in crimes. Still, this is a decent if at times a tad bland story about man possibly wrongly accused for a small robbery and the strain it puts on his life and his wife's.
It all feels rather low stakes with melodrama thrown in. Not quite gritty enough to call it a noir, not an interesting misfire for Hitchcock fans to check out.
59 years later and Hitchcock’s work applies more than ever. Different genre, same maestro.
“I made a mistake.”
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I'm a huge fan of both Hitchcock and Fonda (plus, Bernard Herrmann), but this movie just didn't do it for me. Not that it was bad, but it just didn't make any difference at all, especially because it doesn't seem like a Hitchcock movie, most of the aspects that make me love his filmmaking are absent. I think it's socially relevant to tell a true story like this, where an innocent man gets mistaken for a criminal and has to pay without any kind of real investigation being done, simply because the police did a lazy job. I believe this kind of situation happens all the time, and it's very concerning.
But, I found some of the aspects of the…
I was kind of bored with this movie. Maybe Henry Fonda gives a good performance and maybe its a nice portrayal of a family falling apart due to the problems put on their shoulders.
What bored me was that nothing happened out of own energy of the characters. Everything just happened. No one had influence on it.
Due to this, the story feels like small rain drops falling to the ground, one after another ... creating a puddle of anticlimax in the end.
Hitchcocks most sober film. Fondas finest hour.