Friday, April 29, 2011
The Wrong Man
The Wrong Man chronicles the living hell that bassist Manny Balestrero (Henry Fonda) went through to prove he didn't rob an insurance company. As he tries to prove his innocence, his wife Rose (Vera Miles) slowly starts to succumb from the strain of the ordeal.
You think that The Wrong Man would be ranked among Hitchcock's greats since it covers a common theme in his movies: mistaken identity. That theme was previously used in The 39 Steps and would later be famously used in Vertigo and North by Northwest.
The Wrong Man is based on real events, much like Hitchcock's Rope. The movie has an almost documentary feel to it. It doesn't have the typical Hitchcock aura to it, but I don't mind. It's nice not having your nerves frayed to oblivion when it's over.
This is somewhat an ironic, almost foreboding even, role for Fonda since he'd be trying to prove someone else's innocence in 12 Angry Men the following year. Miles, once we visibly see her psyche starting to crack, almost makes Norman Bates look legally sane. The Wrong Man gets the highest marks from yours truly.
My Rating: *****