The Wrong Man (1956) – Encore Review


“How do you explain it?” – Lt. Bowers

“I made a mistake.” – Christopher Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Balestrero

“And so did the hold up man. And it happens to be the same mistake.” – Lt. Bowers

Number of Times Seen – Twice (8 May 2017 and 27 Apr 2020)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – A musician is wrongfully accused of being an armed robber and must find a way to prove his innocence.

My Take on it – This is among my favorite Alfred Hitchcock films because it is one of the most realistic ones.

It’s based on a true story and that adds s much more tension to the way things play out because it is so powerfully done.

Henry Fonda is great in the lead role and he plays the character in such a subtle way that it makes things even more gripping to watch it all unfold.

The innocence of his character and of his wife’s character payed by Vera Miles is great and helps make them so much easier for the viewer to identify with.

The film does a great job showing how it isn’t necessary to develop any of the characters because we get to see exactly what the other characters get to see in order to try and decide on his innocence or guilt.

All of the characters presented here are quite easy to relate to and we can empathize with all of them just by seeing how they react in certain situations.

Any of these characters are thrust into situations that anyone can easily imagine happening to them and that helps make the viewer identify with everyone as they see the events play out.

The story is paced really well and remains thrilling from start to finish because Hitchcock is able to always add slight strokes of doubt in our minds which makes us want to see how things will play out.

Bottom Line – One of Hitchcock’s best films because it is based on a real event and is so powerfully done.  Fonda is great in the lead and plays this character in such a subtle and innocent way that helps make things even more powerful to watch. The entire story is told in a straightforward way but it’s so easy to identify with the characters because they all come across so realistically.  Love the way that there is no real need to develop any of these characters and we get so many powerful performances that resonate so well.  The characters are easy to relate to and the situations that they find themselves in are ones that anyone can imagine could happen to them just as simply which helps make this story feel even more relevant to everyone. The story plays out really well and stays thrilling throughout because Hitchcock really knows how to keep things suspenseful.  Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Sir Alfred Hitchcock utilized some of the actual real-life locations where the events took place including some of the actual witnesses. Among these are the jail cell where the real Manny Balestrero was incarcerated, the caretakers at the country inn and the inn itself, and the sanitarium where Manny’s wife was committed. As much as Hitchcock hated filming his movies on location, he felt that authenticity was crucial to this film due to its real-life “elements that are stranger than all the fiction” he had filmed in his movies prior to this. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10) (no change from original review)

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2 thoughts on “The Wrong Man (1956) – Encore Review

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1956 | MovieRob

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