Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Cape Fear /Cape Fear |
Actors: Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange
Directors: J. Lee Thompson, Martin Scorsese
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
A classic and a disaster
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 12/16/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Cape Fear" is a classic example of psychological horror and suspense -- what if you and your family were being threatened by a conscienceless killer, yet had no way of stopping him? What lengths would you go to? This two-pack includes both the original 1962 version and the inferior 1991 remake.
The original stars Gregory Peck as Sam Bowden, a successful attorney, who seems to be living the American dream -- he has a beautiful house, a loving wife, sweet daughter, and lots of friends. Then one day, a man named Max Cady (Robert Mitchum) arrives in town; Bowden put him in prison for several years, and now he wants revenge.
But Cady doesn't directly attack Bowden or his family -- he begins a series of mind games, toying with Bowden's head by assaulting a young woman (who is too frightened to speak out), following Bowden's daughter at school, and subtlely threatening Mrs. Bowden. Finally Bowden hires a trio of thugs to attack Cady, but that backfires. Finally, the desperate Bowden stashes his family aboard a houseboat, and lies in wait to finish Cady off when he finally comes...
The remake has the same general plot, but Scorsese tries to beef it up and make it edgier, making Cady a tattooed thug and making Nick Nolte's Bowden almost as creepy and sleazy as Cady. And while the idea of the plot is decidedly creepy, it doesn't fit in the 1990s, when stalking laws had been put into place.
Unfortunately, Scorsese doesn't seem to understand what made the original such a horrific experience -- the THREAT of Cady raping the wife and daughter is more ominous than having Cady seduce the girl. Moreover, making Bowden a sleazy, adulterous creep undermines the whole point of the original movie -- a good man driven to possible crimes to protect his family.
While Nolte's portrayal of Bowden is almost nauseating, Gregory Peck's performance is outstanding. Peck was usually cast as the straight-shooter, but here that casting is twisted as Bowden is willing to even descend to murder if it keeps his wife and daughter from being attacked. Robert De Niro is miscast as Cady in the remake, turning him into a run-of-the-mill thug without the brains for a cat-and-mouse game. Mitchum, on the other hand, is eerily, creepily effective as a superintelligent stalker-rapist. (Censoring of the time did not allow direct references to rape, but it's an overhanging threat)
The original "Cape Fear" is a magnificently horrific suspense movie, with a dynamic cast and solid script. Just don't bother with the remake -- it's the twisted twin of the original."