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