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.
Sometimes you just wanna see a Henry Fonda picture. (B+)
Easily as strong as any mid-tier Hitchcock in the 50s and 60s.. Maybe stronger. Feels a bit more like a long episode of Hitchcock Presents, but that's a slight complaint.
Let's get the obvious out of the way: Lesser Hitchcock is still better than at least 70% of all the movies out there. And if I were to rank Hitchcock this would be nowhere near the bottom, just stuck in the middle. So all in all, the movie is pretty good.
Where I think the movie fails (again, Hitchcock "failing" is better than most director's best work) is that Hitchcock seems to be taking very seriously the fact that this movie is based on a true story. At first glance, this story of a man wrongly accused seems so naturally to fall in Hitchcock's wheelhouse that there could be no way he doesn't pull it off. But in the numerous…
Hard hitting and somewhat disturbing account of how a family man and father of two young boys (Henry Fonda) is mistakingly picked out by several people as being an armed robber. Both Fonda and co star Vera Miles are exceptional in this powerful Hitchcock movie that is not seen amongst his best work. It is certainly very different and most definitely leaves it's mark on the viewer.
Unbelievable true story well directed by master of suspense.... Henry fonda did great job as the innocent victim.... though vera miles' nervous breakdown was little dramatic... As director quotes at he beginning....
Truth is stranger than fiction.....
Definitely a more dramatic and emotional Hitchcock film has a disappointing ending but is, overall, a pretty great film.
Tight and gripping docudrama. I really like this movie. Many camera movements that fit so well, especially that one camera movement where the camera spins in circles on a flat surface, that really had my head following those movements as well, so engrossed I was in this movie. It really is a testament to Mr. Hitchcocks craftsmanship, and is definitely not to be ignored. Bernard Herrman's score really sets the mood and tone of the film. Great movie.
This column originally appeared in The Independent on Sunday:
“Don’t you see? It doesn’t do any good to care. No matter what you do, they’ll get it fixed so that it goes against you. No matter how innocent you are, or how hard you try, they’ll find you guilty.” Those words, somewhat astonishingly, are not from the recent Netflix series Making a Murderer, but are actually spoken by Vera Miles sixty years ago in The Wrong Man.
The film, made by Alfred Hitchcock in 1956 and released between The Man Who Knew Too Much and Vertigo is perhaps best known for the fact that it’s the only one of the director’s pictures in which he actually speaks. Hitch appears in…
This would have been great if not for the wife subplot. Completely kills the momentum of the film and what an awful ending.
From his book Essential Cinema.
A huge thanks to everyone who added films, helped me find films with alternate titles,…
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