Somewhere...somewhere there must be the right man!
True story of an innocent man mistaken for a criminal.
True story of an innocent man mistaken for a criminal.
Henry Fonda Vera Miles Anthony Quayle Harold J. Stone Charles Cooper John Heldabrand Esther Minciotti Doreen Lang Laurinda Barrett Norma Connolly Nehemiah Persoff Lola D'Annunzio Kippy Campbell Robert Essen Richard Robbins Dayton Lummis Peggy Webber Bonnie Franklin Werner Klemperer Harry Dean Stanton Tuesday Weld
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…
#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…
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…
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 wrong Hitchcock movie
Psycho is still my favorite.
Hitchcock crafts a much subdued documentary style film about the real life railroading of Manny Balestrero. This is an especially interesting watch after seeing Henry Fonda argue in a jury room against similar testimonial evidence in 12 Angry Men. While not as dynamic in music or camerawork as Hitchcock's other films, this shows exactly how someone could be misidentified. I believe the police have fixed many of the issue presented in this film, but it's another good one to watch on the dangers of eyewitness testimony.
Turner Classic Movies (Paula)
** SPOILERS **
What begins as a gripping film, with great potential for character-driven choices, slowly dissolves into a slow exhibition of watching a man do next-to-nothing and be exonerated via coincidence.
The film is wonderfully acted by Henry Fonda and Vera Mills, and particularly by Fonda who emotes so much sorrow and confusion in his eyes. His walk throughs in the stores that were robbed are a clinic in acting.
Hitchcock plays this one far too-close to the vest; rather than telling a true story with great actors and haunting technique, he should have just used the inspiration and created from there.
The character-revealing scenes of Fonda traveling home, checking the papers, and talking with…
The Wrong Man is one of Hitchcock's least mentioned 50's movies and it's the only time he worked with actor Henry Fonda. There's no regular appearance by the director himself this time, instead he decided to present the movie himself, explaining that the film we're about to see are all true, based on real event. It's still has a classic Hitchcock storyline with a man trying to clear his name, even though it's more of a tragic drama than a thriller but The Wrong Man contains everything I love about Hitchcock - suspense, a phenomenal lead actor (Vera Miles is great too) and Bernard Herrmann! Great movie, as expected!
not one of my fave Hitch movies
Often overlooked Hitchcock classic.
FORWARD: I watched this movie Monday afternoon and wrote the following essay between then and 11 this morning. It's very undergrad, but I'm an undergrad so fuck it. Due to the (self-imposed) time constraints under which I completed the piece, I rely more heavily on haughty posturing than usual. This writer regrets the error.
God is Dead, and Alfred Hitchcock Killed Him
There’s a shot toward the beginning of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Wrong Man that could easily be read as fatalistic: Manny Balestrero approaches an insurance teller whose window is barred like a prison cell , and as he does he pulls a piece of paper from his coat as if it were a gun. “This guy is going to…
An epic tale of suspense and loneliness. This film is Hitchcock's visualization of a childhood phobia of confinement against one's will. This is a great film that holds incredible performances by Henry Fonda & Vera Miles. It's sinister and simplistic plot is carried along by an unforgettable score from the legendary Bernard Herrmann.
A fun fact about this movie is that Martin Scorsese screened it for the cast of Taxi Driver to get them in the right mood and feel before shooting, which he has said could also be the reason why he had Bernard Herrmann do the score. Taxi Driver sadly enough ended up being Herrmann's final score because he passed away on Christmas Eve of 1975, just over a month before the film was released on February 8th, 1976.