Cape Fear

  • Film
  • Thrillers
While one can't deny the technical bravura of this remake of J Lee Thompson's 1961 thriller, it's hard not to feel that Scorsese is selling himself short. Max Cady (De Niro) - the manic, bible-quoting rapist who sets out to wreak sadistic revenge on the family of defence attorney Sam Bowden (Nolte), who suppressed evidence that might have kept him out of jail - comes over less as a credible human being or as Scorsese's 'malignant spirit' of the Bowdens guilt, more as a virtually indestructible monstrosity. Likewise, the Bowdens' newly acquired 'sins' - flirtations with adultery for Sam, unforgiving neuroses for his wife (Lange), nascent interest in sex for his daughter (Lewis) - neither deserve the punishment the film inflicts on them, nor lend substance to the conceit that the family must embrace the violent nemesis Cady represents if it is to find redemption. Except for Lewis and a typically solid turn by Baker, the performances are largely unimaginative in this overblown horror-schlocker.

Release details

Duration: 128 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Martin Scorsese
Screenwriter: Wesley Strick
Cast: Robert De Niro
Nick Nolte
Jessica Lange
Juliette Lewis
Joe Don Baker
Robert Mitchum
Gregory Peck
Martin Balsam
Illeana Douglas
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