Not Scorcese's best, but pretty good! (by exterminator_99)
Martin Scorcese's filmography as director is one of the most accomplished in modern film history. While Cape Fear can't even hold a candle next to "Taxi Driver", "Raging Bull" and "Goodfellas", it is still a fabulous remake of the 1962 noir classic and it keeps the viewer on the edge right through until the closing credits.Robert De Niro in yet another brilliant teaming with Scorcese behind the camera plays Max Cady, a psychopathic rapist who was sent to jail 14 years earlier for such crimes. He leaves prison with vengeance. Not for his victims or his <more>
prosecutor, but his defence councillor, Sam J. Bowden, played by Nick Nolte. It seems Bowden did not defend Cady to the best of his ability. Cady knows this and wants some payback.Cady's initial return into Bowden's life could not have come at a worse time. Bowden has been forced to move his family to Florida after his infidelities threatened his marriage and career. His wife is distrustful and worst of all, Bowden is on the verge of beginning another affair with a female workmate. Added to that, his daughter is at the difficult age of 15.Almost by ozmosis, Cady understands these problems in the Bowden household and acts on them. He begins terrorising Bowden and his whole family, taking it from one extreme to the next.What makes Cape Fear such a good film is the rapidly increasing sense of claustrophobia. Scorcese makes a point of using almost only close up shots towards the end of the film. It is a great touch that makes the viewer that much more scared as the film goes on.Along with that, Robert De Niro is superb as Cady. Only occasionally does the role slip into parody. Mostly he is expertly evil.Nick Nolte is good if not great, the same for Jessica Lange as Leigh Bowden. It seems as if they were void of any great lines in this film, which is unfortunate given their immense talent. Julliette Lewis is absolutely brilliant as the young daughter, Danielle. She slips effortlessly between curious sexual awakenings, rebellious teen and straight thinking woman. Add in small roles for Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck the leads of the 1962 version and you have a great ensemble cast.So not the best Scorcese film ever, but some tight editing, great camerawork, a haunting theme and devilishly over-the-top acting help make this a frighteningly fun movie to watch. Strongly recommended.
Robert DeNiro truly gives this movie its element of fear (by lee_eisenberg)
To me, it's amazing that there's actually a place in North Carolina called Cape Fear, but it provides the perfect setting for this movie. Several years after attorney Sam Bowden Nick Nolte defended convicted rapist Max Cady Robert DeNiro , Cady gets out of jail and decides that Bowden didn't do a good job defending him. After Sam and Max meet each other a few times, Max starts getting crazier and crazier. After he tries to enter Sam's house, Sam and his family go into hiding at Cape Fear. Then, the terror really begins.Martin Scorsese brought a unique intensity to movies <more>
like "Mean Streets" and "Taxi Driver", but this is something completely different. Whereas his earlier movies simply made you identify with the characters, "Cape Fear" makes you both identify with the characters and find them unpleasant. Not only Max Cady, but also the Bowdens. They are never the "ideal American family", but Cady's threats against them make them get progressively nastier in their attitudes towards each other and to other people.I think that it's safe to say that after watching "Cape Fear", you will never look at any person the same way again.
Scorseses expertly crafted essay on hate and violence (by dcw-12)
The film is beautifully filmed. Its a homage to classic American film, it has a strange sense of time and place like it could almost be the 1950's. The sounds that accompany the film add to that classic feel of the movie, its always there adding atmosphere to the film like movies used to do.The film deals with many things though its main themes are class, hate, and violence.Class and power are brought up. The wealthy in the film seem to wield power casually over those they view as not of their caste. The lawyer omitted evidence that would have resulted in a dismissal just because he <more>
'knew' this rough white guy had to have done the crime. The way he gets favors from his wealthy pals its obvious that if he defending someone of his caste he would have presented the evidence.In fact the ease with which someones life is ruined and the world doesn't even pay it an ounce of attention, this is one of the most terrifying things in the film. The film really shows the impact of power unlike any film i've seen.How does someone hate? To many people its some vague notion. To others its a sin. The 'christian' judge in the film represents this viewpoint, chastising a man who has been abused and hounded by a psychopath because he is 'displaying' negative emotions. While he himself has probably never experienced any major wrong inflicted on him by another, he has never had to resist hate.De Niros character never tried to resist it, he dove straight into it. 14 years in prison breeding and brewing hatred. Thats the films point, this guy is no saint and we have no doubt about that. But the viewer struggles with his feelings because he knows Noltes character was wrong, and we see how 14 years of prison has twisted De Niro and we hear about what happened to him there. One is forced to think, if someone set me up and got me put in prison would I hate to the point that De Niro would?The flip side of this course is how easy Noltes character loses it when faced with a similar situation to the abuse De Niro experienced in prison. How easily he breaks rules, how he seems ready to do anything to get rid of this character. Isn't this also hate? This culminates with the final scene, Noltes character bellowing like a wounded animal lifts a giant rock over his head ready to crush De Niros skull. We are used to the hero coming to his senses and renouncing violence. Not Nolte, he follows through smashing the rock down where De Niros head should have been.This is a powerful statement and the finale.The film pulls back the pretense most of us have about ourselves, how we are more like those 'on the other side of the tracks' than we can imagine. It just maybe that they have had to deal with these issues of hate, class, and violence and we have not.A great film that allows you to relax into it, its both ugly and beautiful at the same time. Truly a masterpiece, my highest recommendation.
The Great Un-American Classic! (by Dan1863Sickles)
This brutal, violent and suspenseful thriller combines a scorching performance by Robert Deniro, sumptuous location photography, and a powerful script that raises disturbing questions about religion, sex, and class distinctions in our so-called classless society.At first glance Max Cady seems to be just another creep, a rapist and convict out to torment and humiliate a nice, upper-middle class family. "He's an ex-con," yuppie lawyer Sam Bowden smugly says, with fatuous self-satisfaction. But gradually it becomes apparent that things are not what they seem. The wholesome, <more>
"superior" middle class family is rotten with corruption, while the vicious, "psychotic" ex-con is a man of extraordinary courage, intelligence, and spiritual strength. Even his most horrible acts of violence are connected to the corrupt and self-serving behavior of his "betters." What makes this movie work so well is that director Martin Scorsese breaks away from his usual mean streets milieu. If Max Cady had been an Italian wise guy, the movie would have made excuses for him. The outcome would have been predictable. But here the great director remains an impartial observer of criminal behavior, rather than a sentimental apologist for ethnic violence. As in GANGS OF NEW YORK. Max Cady is pure evil, but he speaks the truth about the evil of allowing class distinctions to flourish in a so-called "democracy." When it came out, this movie was reviled by critics, especially by effete yuppies like Terence Rafferty at GQ and VANITY FAIR. Most of them whined about the violence, but it was painfully clear that what really disturbed them was the possibility that an ugly ex-con really could be smarter, tougher, and more virtuous than a spoiled yuppie lawyer.Shocking!!!
A disturbing and intense thriller (by Smells_Like_Cheese)
You've pretty much read it in my comments, I am a huge fan of M.S. and R.D. But honestly, I watched "Cape Fear" because I bought "The Simpsons" 5th season on DVD, and I had no idea that the Sideshow Bob episode where he tries to kill Bart was based on this movie. So, I knew I had to rent this movie if it was good enough to parody on "The Simpsons". And it was very disturbing to watch. Robert DeNiro is one of my favorite actors, and he completely freaked me out in this film. Especially the scene between him and Juliette Lewis. Even though in some ways this <more>
film is done a little over the top, it all adds together very well. I was very impressed with this film and would recommend it to Martin Scorsesse fans of course. Even though I wouldn't say this was his best work, it is one of his best thrillers though.9/10
One of the better thrillers of the 90's (by Idocamstuf)
I have wanted to see this movie for quite some time, and I finally saw it, and I thought that it was great. I am a huge Martin Scorsese fan, and I would have to say this is one of his most true to life films, even though its not his best film. The acting is great,and so is the music. The film will send shivers through your body. This is also one of DeNiro's most underrated performances and deserved more attention at the time of its release. Its also great to see some of the actors from the original version show up in cameo roles. If you like horror films and thrillers, you will most <more>
likely enjoy this. ***1/2 out of ****. A recommended viewing.
Not in his Scorsese's best, but definately has it's moments of glory (by Quinoa1984)
Martin Scorsese takes his first whack at the horror/thriller genre with a remake of the 1962 classic of the same title. While I can not truthfully say the original was better due to the fact that I never saw the original, I have a feeling that Scorsese has brought his maestro touch to the film that changes it slightly from the original to make it better, because this is quite the suspenser.Here, a very dangerous and evil man named Max Cady played in one of the best villain roles of the 90's by Robert De Niro gets out of jail after 14 years of imprisonment, and decides to get vengeance <more>
on the lawyer Nick Nolte and his family Jessica Lange the mother and a young and supple Juliette Lewis as the daughter . At times the film is surprisingly slow, but the film is never boring, and suspense is always in the air; the climax/ending contains some of Scorsese and De Niro's finest work. Also, De Niro steals the show as the animal Cady by making the person who is supposed to be the hero into a flawed character, thereby turning the film almost into a Film-noir, which is quite a feat for Scorsese and company. Not perfect, but it shouldn't be. Those are Scorsese's parents briefly buying fruit. A-
Scorsese + De Niro A dark, tense superbly crafted thriller (by galileo3)
Cape Fear 1991 Top 10 - 1990Scorsese can never go wrong. By saying that, I don't necessarily mean that all of his films are masterpieces although most are , but he hasn't made one bad film yet.Scorsese again casts De Niro as the psychotic rapist who comes out of jail to terrorise the lawyer and his family who put him in jail. We have been deprived of this wonderful director - actor combination for 11 years and hopefully we will see De Niro soon under a Scorsese direction.Anyway, Cape Fear is not one of those films that you are able to categorise as masterpieces or even classics, but <more>
it is a hell of a thriller. An enjoyable experience with a great cast and an Oscar worthy performance from Juliette Lewis .This is a finely tuned thriller that is also quite disturbing as well.8/10
De Niro leads a terrific cast in a superior remake (by ijonesiii)
I truly enjoyed the 1991 remake of CAPE FEAR, based on the 1962 classic with Roert Mitchum and Gregory Peck. In this remake, Robert De Niro gives one of his most electrifying performances as Max Cady, an ex-con out to terrorize the lawyer Nick Nolte who sent him to jail, not to mention his wife and daughter Jessica Lange, Juliette Lewis . My review is based on the merit of this film alone as I have never seen the original; however, after seeing this, I wanted to. Nolte gives an equally strong performance as the milquetoast lawyer pushed to his limits by this madman. Lange and Lewis offer <more>
strong support as Nolte's family Lewis received an Oscar nod for this, her first starring role . I also thought it was nice of director Scorcese to salute the original film by casting original stars Mitchum and Peck in supporting roles. but above all, De Niro is worth the price of the rental here.