Cape Fear (1991)

Cape Fear (1991)

Director: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange

A former public defender is tormented by a rapist recently released from prison.

I really love the original Cape Fear and while I'm usually leery about remakes, this one is pretty well regarded, so I wanted to give it a shot. One of the things that made the original so effective that until the climax, it was the threat rather than the act of violence that built so much tension. Here there's more direct action, which takes away from it a bit, but Robert De Niro delivers such an intense performance that it makes up for it. The character of Sam Bowden is much more morally grey, which leaves him with a much less stable domestic situation that's easier for Cady to exploit. Making Cady something of a perversion of the holy roller comes off a bit as a caricature of some Yankee nightmare of Southerners, but whatever. It's cool that both Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck have small roles. I still prefer the original, but this is definitely worth seeing.

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