Cape Fear (1962)

Hitchcock himself didn’t end up directing this one, though he was initially planned to, but the film still feels molded to him, or by him.

The hook of a lawyer (played by Gregory Peck, no less) and his family being terrorised by a criminal the lawyer had put away, a criminal canny enough to avoid cause for further arrest, is good, but feels more suited to a short film or story than an entire feature. The score is excellent and haunting, and does a lot to create the tension in a lot of scenes.

The black and white visuals do a lot to keep the tension of some of the later scenes at night and in a cramped boat tense. The ending is a bit too neat and poetic, but the tension of the villain’s torturous hunt of the lawyer’s family works well, embodying an interesting fear of the malleability of a legal system that can endanger you as much as protect you. Three and a half panama hats, and a rake.

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