Good for psychologists
- The Wrong Man review by JD
Henry Fonda is an actor I had heard of but never watched. He justifies his impressive reputation. The importance of this film however for me is showing the gullibility of the mind, in that once guilt has been ascribed its removal is difficult and that some are keener to scrutinise the decision than others. The other area of psychology explored is guilt absorbed by others. A strangely common phenomenon, but in this case to extreme effect. Vera Miles tries I think too hard to be a glamour actress in a role demanding much more, but just about brings off the point of the plot.
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- The Wrong Man review by Steve Mason
Brilliant and atypical (for Hitchcock) docudrama which feels part of the movement of new realism that swept American cinema in the fifties in the wake of Italian neorealism.
I love the opening credit scene in a b&w Stork Club where Henry Fonda plays in the band, when a woman suddenly looks into the camera, as if to stress that this is being made to look like a documentary and it's a long, long way from the Hitchworld of spectacular action set pieces and sexual innuendo with an icy blonde on a speeding train. He then throws in a series of jump cuts, to show how up to date he is.
An innocent man is wrongly accused of robbery by a negligent, mediocre judicial system, and his life and marriage fall apart under the impact. Fonda and Vera Miles are extremely affecting and believable as the couple, and Hitchcock and cinematographer Robert Burks shoot New York on location in that realistic Weegee style at least as well as anyone else at the time.
Hitch introduces the film and emphasises that this is a true story. It covers the familiar Hitchcock themes of guilt, mental instability and the imperfection of justice, and it's just as suspenseful as any of his films. But its look is transformed.
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