Genre Grandeur – The Wrong Man (1956) – Ten Stars or Less

For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Hitchcockian Films, here’s a review of The Wrong Man (1956) by Ryan of Ten Stars or Less

Thanks again to Michael Eddy for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Vinnie of Vinnie H. and it is Historical True Story Films.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of February by sending them to

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Vinnie!

Let’s see what Ryan thought of this movie:


When someone mentioned that we should watch Alfred Hitchcock movies and review them, I wanted to go off the charts and pick one that no one from this generation has heard of. I picked The Wrong Man to watch and that was the wrong choice. The film started out with our leading guy Manny Balestrero (Henry Fonda) in some deep money troubles and when he goes to get a loan off his wife’s insurance policy, he’s fingered as a robber who has knocked over a bunch of places in New York City. The story kept me interested and engaged because this poor guy is being thrown through the ringer and he has zero clue why he’s been arrested, thrown in jail, and going to trial. Thanks to some brilliant writing the story moved along at a good pace, that was until his wife (Vera Miles) has a mental breakdown and ends up in the mental hospital. Why did this need to happen and ruin a good story about a guy fighting for his life? When the wife’s problems became a focal point, the trial and ending became very weak and didn’t have the impact I was hoping for. It was at this point I realized this movie was far from Hitchcock’s best works. I haven’t even seen his most famous works (sorry) and if this was someone’s first impression of this famous director’s work, they would probably end up disinterested in what else he had to offer. 3/10


2 thoughts on “Genre Grandeur – The Wrong Man (1956) – Ten Stars or Less

  1. Pingback: Genre Grandeur January Finale – Frenzy (1972) – Michael Eddy |

  2. Ryan: I don’t disagree with you that this one falls into Hitchcock’s midrange of films (maybe even a bit below midrange). That being said – I can understand your criticism of the plotting and Vera Miles breakdown (I thought it was a bit overwrought myself) – and I’m not saying that this should change your review or opinion of the film itself – but this is based on a real true life incident that took place – that Hitchcock read a newspaper account of. Knowing that – if the real Manny Balestrero’s wife really had a nervous breakdown – that would make it an integral part of the story – and obviously one that Hitchcock and his writer felt was necessary to include in thee film.


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