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.
The game of shadows explicitly addresses the absurdity of a rotten society: there are those (Fonda) who are strong enough to resist and to find a bright hot sun in a little, hazy irradiation; on the other hand there are fragile beings (Miles, main character), constantly portrayed by AH as women in general, who are swallowed by round, enormous shades on a wall, unavoidably entering something I'd call the "real world"
Again, why is this film so often ignored. It rivals Vertigo in terms of it's direction. If Hitchcock's film are about his fear of the law and innocence being convicted, than this is logical peak of that theme. In many ways, this is the best Kafka cinematic adaptation aside from Welles'. Godard summed it up perfectly when speaking of the miracle at the end. Hitchcock didn't simply put it on film but rather filmed it.
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.
Altro grandioso lavoro di Hitchcock,che abbandona tensione e suspence e sforna un drammatico favoloso,con una camera sempre fissa sul protagonista che mostra una dignità strepitosa in una vicenda che diventa sempre più angosciante.Il personaggio della moglie e il suo dolore forse sono la cosa più riuscita,insieme al finale da Maestro in cui i volti si sovrappongono. Solita maestria registica,da marchio di fabbrica.
Hitchcock fulfills the promise of "I Confess" with this masterpiece. The naturalistic settings and the subdued tone are very effective to recreate the real-life events of a "wrong man." The carefully constructed prison scene especially reminded me of the works of Robert Bresson. It's interesting that both filmmakers use subtle devices as environmental sounds and expressions of hands to create maximum drama.
"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.