"The Wrong Man" is not really about the identity crisis of a man wrongly accused of robbery but about the crisis of the society that formulates that accusation. This crisis is perceived by Hitchcock in terms of pure evil that possesses the wronged man's wife and drives her to madness. As Kim Novak is sentenced to die a second time in "Vertigo", so is she sentenced to eternal despair as atonement for the evil in men.
A typical Hitchcockian motif delivered in an atypical style. Here the filmmaker pares back his stylisations to deliver a story ripped from the headlines. There's a grittiness & almost procedural-like actuality to the way the thing develops, but this only seems to make the (real life) story feel all the more preposterous & far-fetched. I prefer Hitchcock when he's pushing the Freudian analysis & dreamlike abstraction.
I've rarely been more disturbed watching a Hitchcock film, even the ending seems wrong and inappropriate in a way. I think the film works perfectly because Fonda, Miles and the kids are so damn likable as the struggling middle class family, and Hitchcock's gift for exteriorizing psychological traits in small details has never been better, not to mention the striking real locations and his unimpeachable film grammar.
Some great photography and direction aside, this is one of the most boring movies I've seen in my life. I know Hitchcock was trying to cleanse the palate but the tedium was too much. If you've seen Hitchcock's greats and want to spread out you may not go wrong, but by no means start with this one...
Very different from his other films: softer, quieter and more documentary-style. I am endlessly fascinated with Hitchcock's compositions and camera placements, but I'm repulsed by the sappy acting towards the end of the film. Overly sentimental, but worth a watch.