Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cape Fear

Ex convict Robert Mitchum turns up in the hometown of lawyer Gregory Peck. He holds Peck responsible for the eight years he has spent in jail. The film also stars Martin Balsam as the police chief and Telly Savalas (with hair!) as a private detective. Music is by Bernard Herrmann.

This was a late film noir, and it still holds up pretty well. It's shot in black and white, and even in tone it's quite dark. It's never said directly but implied that Mitchum's character will take revenge by raping Peck's young daughter. For Peck, and the viewer, it's a question of how far are you willing to go to protect your family? Not getting any help in the courts Peck has to finally use his own family as bait. The final showdown between the two is a primitive man to man struggle for survival in the Florida swamps, far from cilvilisation. Both actors are very good, even if they are very much typecast.

In the Robert Mitchum School of How to pick up girls, there's a great line in this film. You walk over to the girl sitting in the bar and say, -I give you one hour to get rid of your friends. (It's even better if you are escorted out by police officers, like Mitchum is in the film.)

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