Reviews of The Wrong Man
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I was fooled by this film when I began watching it. I assumed it was a thriller since It wa directed by Alfred Hitchcock, but as the film proceeds it becomes quite clear it is not a thriller. It’s actually a drama that has a few thrilling moments. But that is more emotional then anything else. Which is good but I had myself worked up for one kind of film. I got another but since it was Alfred Hitchcock I knew I would like it. I knew it would be a classic therefore memorable and entertaining.
What it lacked in thrills it made up for in dread throughout the film you feel sorry for the lead character as he seems to never get any luck. As evidence piles up against him. It shows not only his desperation and fear. How this also affects his family greatly.
I enjoyed the contrast of how one of the big fearful moments is when the handcuffs are slapped on him and it becomes so official. His processing it highly dramatic for him, but workman like for the officers.
It also shows at the time instead of innocent until proven guilty. It was more the other way.
You can tell the film is truly old school since the crime he is accused of is robbery. Which I’m guessing carries a conviction of 5 years. Most modern film would never base a film around that. It would be rape or murder these days and be a race against the clock to prove his innocence. Plus the main character would be a little tougher while I admire the characters values in the film. today they would be laughed at and deemed unbelievable and be called a wimp.
The film is certainly dark material wise but in a way thoughnot religious is a film that showcases faith. Not necessarily in god but just having it. I would have loved the film and it’s ending if not for the disclaimer. Right before the end the disclaimer takes all of the sting out of the ending.
Plus it would show the ying and the yang of the situation. Yes you were proven innocent but the ordeal left your wife so damaged who knows if she’ll ever recover.
The disclaimer feels like a cop out for a happy ending. I prefer the dark one
The film is all the more believable because of Henry Fonda a good actor. Who I always felt strange watching in films. He has a villains looks but was a matinee idol. So when watching films where he is the good guy. I always felt he looked shifty and non trust worthy, but maybe to audiences in the day it meant rugged and dangerous.
Though it is a classic it is not necessary for your film library. It’s a good film that should be seen and studied because they truly don’t make them like this anymore
- Currently 3.0/5 Stars.
The Wrong man is a movie that, even if it’s not one of his best, is really interesting in Hitchcock massive filmography for a few reason.
First and foremost, for the first time in like 35 Hitchcock pictures, I see a director who seems to really care about his caracter. He is directly involve into the story, and not totally cold and detach. It probably have something to do with the fact that it is inspire by a true story and we can surely imagine that this story touched him very much.
There is also another interesting point it’s that, for one of the first time, the main caracter is not the typical weel-being man, with money, class and everything, but he’s just a musician, with not too much money, who’s trying to live his life the best he can but is playing music in a club that otherwise, he would never have been permitted to enter. This is pretty well different from the typical, say, doctor, of the Hitchcock movies like The Man Who knew too much. The Henry Fonda caracter is also a typical man, insecure, and always worried about what’s happening to him, instead of always seeming in control of the situation
FInally, this is probably the lest misogynist of his movies. The female caracter his a caracter entirely and not only depending upon her husband. The woman all have great and various personality, and are not the usual hitchcokian over-emotionnal. This is combined to the fact that the caracter played by Henry Fonda is a real family man, caring about his kid, washing the dishes with his wife, and his trying from the beginning to the end to assure her happiness.
All this always return to the great directing by Hitchcock, who manage to show us that his intentions were clear about his caracters and his story. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that it is a true story and if so, Hitchcock should have made a couple more.
- Currently 4.0/5 Stars.
Alfred Hithcock’s The Wrong Man (1956) and Call Northside 777 (1948), directed by Henry Hathaway, both revolve around the wrongly accused. A comparison of the two films also provides an interesting study in contrasts. The Wrong Man is brilliantly executed and understated, while Northside is poorly executed, preachy and heavy handed. Northside employs stereotypes, while The Wrong Man does not. Jimmy Stewart’s lead in Northside is smarmy, while Henry Fonda’s lead in The Wrong Man is stoic.
The wrong man is based on a true story and one gets the impression that Hitchcock plays it pretty close to the vest, but with some subtle flourishes. Northside is also based on a true story, but one gathers that the film takes some egregious liberties. In this case, Alfred Hitchcock is the Master of Defense.
- Currently 5.0/5 Stars.