All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. 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…
#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…
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…
You know those great movie scenes where you get to watch a character do something they're really exceptional at? Like rob a bank or hit a home run or survive on Mars? Hitchcock movies are like those scenes from start to finish. The pleasure of execution done effortlessly, expertly.
For the record, Vera freaking Miles is in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Searchers, and Psycho. And this might be her best performance.
The first forty minutes are so wonderfully Kafkaesque (Fonda's eye through the meal slot of the prison bars is such a brilliant shot) that it's quite jarring when the final two thirds of the film end up being fairly tedious. Henry Fonda is excellent, however, as usual.
A drama about a middle-aged man accused of a crime he didn't commit.
+ Henry Fonda is fantastic as a lost puppy who just got scolded and the only reason to watch the film at all, you want to cuddle him and comfort him all film long.
- the drama itself is really tame, there isn't much going on, no memorable dialogue or character, no scene that stands out, not much of an ambience or atmosphere, we don't get to participate in the investigation either the plot is pretty much absent
When people criticize this film for being slow and boring... they ain't kidding. This movie is Hitchcock at his most slow and with almost zero tension throughout. Not what you want out of the "Master of Suspense."
It is beautifully shot and that's the upside. But Hitch gets NOTHING out of Fonda. Ugh. And Miles lulls you to sleep with her character's progress.
The movie starts out with GREAT promise and then just falls off the cliff in terms of pacing and dramatic tension... of which there is little. Fonda so underplays the character that you quickly begin to root for something to happen just to wake him up. He's so passive that he seems to sleepwalk through life. So boring to watch such passivity.
The ending... well... there ya go.
Hitchcock's 44th feature film as director.
6th of 52 films in my 52 Films/52 Weeks Hitchcock challenge.
From the beginning, I knew this was going to be different from other Hitchcock films. Granted, it was mainly because Hitch himself provided a V.O. in the opening moments that said as much. This is a true story. “Every word of it.”
And the film lived up to his prologue of being a different offering from Hitchcock. Not just in story, but thematically and visually as well. First, it is among only a handful of Hitchcock films to not involve a murder plot. Second, while there were classic Hitchcockian elements, it felt more like it was directed by a Howard Hawks or a…
The opening scenes lay it on with a trowel - Manny's just an aw-shucks decent family man who loves his wife. This makes the movie feel more than a little manipulative, though it's understandable, since it's based on a true story. The mental-illness subplot would have felt especially manipulative if it hadn't been what actually happened. Sometimes what works for real life doesn't work for fiction, I guess.
I would have run to Canada.
It's a strange thing to experience but it doesn't seem to click between most of the classics and me. By far this is a bad movie, but to be honest it isn't a good one either.
Getting the introduction by the one and only, we meet a family guy, happily married with a wife suffering from dental problems, and two kids. He plays music in a night club, and while not being poor, they seem to have difficulties to keep the boat afloat.
One night, he returns home, to be intercepted by the police as he's suspected of some armed robberies, which we know he's innocent of. The proceedings work out just as you expect, with some bad luck with…
Movie #637 of "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die".
The authentic docudrama style robs The Wrong Man of any trademark Hitchcock touches and therefore it is a low tier addition to the master's filmography. The drama is gripping at times but never fully captivating or thrilling, and Henry Fonda gives what feels like an uninterested performance. Still, the modicum of drama it provides is entertaining enough.
Lads and ladies, dads and babies, put ya hands in the air and rejoice because your lord and saviour Max…
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