Cape Fear

November 13th, 1991







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more trailers Cape Fear

Still of Robert De Niro and Nick Nolte in Cape FearStill of Robert De Niro in Cape FearStill of Nick Nolte and Jessica Lange in Cape FearStill of Martin Scorsese in Cape FearStill of Robert Mitchum in Cape FearStill of Illeana Douglas in Cape Fear

Plot
A convicted rapist, released from prison after serving a 14 year sentence, stalks the family of the lawyer who originally defended him.

Release Year: 1991

Rating: 7.3/10 (64,171 voted)

Critic's Score: 73/100

Director: Martin Scorsese

Stars: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange

Storyline
Sam Bowden is a small-town corporate attorney/"Leave It to Beaver"-esque family-man. Max Cady is a tattooed, cigar-smoking, bible-quoting, psychotic rapist. What do they have in common? Fourteen years, ago Sam was a public defender assigned to Max Cady's rape trial, and he made a serious error: he hid a document from his illiterate client that could have gotten him acquitted. Now, the cagey, bibliophile Cady has been released, and he intends to teach Sam Bowden and his family a thing or two about loss.

Writers: John D. MacDonald, James R. Webb

Cast:
Robert De Niro - Max Cady
Nick Nolte - Sam Bowden
Jessica Lange - Leigh Bowden
Juliette Lewis - Danielle Bowden
Joe Don Baker - Claude Kersek
Robert Mitchum - Lieutenant Elgart
Gregory Peck - Lee Heller
Martin Balsam - Judge
Illeana Douglas - Lori Davis
Fred Dalton Thompson - Tom Broadbent
Zully Montero - Graciella
Craig Henne - Prisoner
Forest Burton - Prisoner
Edgar Allan Poe IV - Prisoner
Rod Ball - Prisoner

Taglines: Sam Bowden has always provided for his family's future. But the past is coming back to haunt them.

Release Date: 13 November 1991

Filming Locations: Florida, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $35,000,000(estimated)

Gross: $182,300,000 (Worldwide)



Technical Specs

Runtime:



Did You Know?

Trivia:
Lori, talking with Max, says, "Now weren't I the bozo on this bus!" - a reference to the 1971 album by The Firesign Theatre called "I Think We're All Bozos on this Bus". A reference like this may seem against period, but Martin Scorsese, like the Firesign Theatre players, was part of the counter-culture scene of the '60s and early '70s. Considered with other elements in the script, such as the lax attitude toward marijuana, this doesn't seem so out of character.

Goofs:
Factual errors: At the end of the film, Sam Bowden says that he had to go to hearings before the American Bar Association as a result of his criminal actions toward Cady. But the ABA doesn't license lawyers, nor does it have the authority to disbar them. It is a lobbying group. Bowden would have had to go before the Georgia Bar Association, given that the crime occurred in that state.

Quotes:
[first lines]
Danielle: My reminiscence. I always thought that for such a lovely river the name is mystifying: "Cape Fear". When the only thing to fear on those enchanted summer nights was that the magic would end and real life would come crashing in.



User Review

Not Scorcese's best, but pretty good!

Rating: 8/10

Martin Scorcese's filmography as director is one of the most accomplished in modern film history. While Cape Fear can't even hold a candle next to "Taxi Driver", "Raging Bull" and "Goodfellas", it is still a fabulous remake of the 1962 noir classic and it keeps the viewer on the edge right through until the closing credits.

Robert De Niro (in yet another brilliant teaming with Scorcese behind the camera) plays Max Cady, a psychopathic rapist who was sent to jail 14 years earlier for such crimes. He leaves prison with vengeance. Not for his victims or his prosecutor, but his defence councillor, Sam J. Bowden, played by Nick Nolte. It seems Bowden did not defend Cady to the best of his ability. Cady knows this and wants some payback.

Cady's initial return into Bowden's life could not have come at a worse time. Bowden has been forced to move his family to Florida after his infidelities threatened his marriage and career. His wife is distrustful and worst of all, Bowden is on the verge of beginning another affair with a female workmate. Added to that, his daughter is at the difficult age of 15.

Almost by ozmosis, Cady understands these problems in the Bowden household and acts on them. He begins terrorising Bowden and his whole family, taking it from one extreme to the next.

What makes Cape Fear such a good film is the rapidly increasing sense of claustrophobia. Scorcese makes a point of using almost only close up shots towards the end of the film. It is a great touch that makes the viewer that much more scared as the film goes on.

Along with that, Robert De Niro is superb as Cady. Only occasionally does the role slip into parody. Mostly he is expertly evil.

Nick Nolte is good if not great, the same for Jessica Lange as Leigh Bowden. It seems as if they were void of any great lines in this film, which is unfortunate given their immense talent. Julliette Lewis is absolutely brilliant as the young daughter, Danielle. She slips effortlessly between curious sexual awakenings, rebellious teen and straight thinking woman. Add in small roles for Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck (the leads of the 1962 version) and you have a great ensemble cast.

So not the best Scorcese film ever, but some tight editing, great camerawork, a haunting theme and devilishly over-the-top acting help make this a frighteningly fun movie to watch. Strongly recommended.









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