Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Wrong Man (1956)

Actors: Henry Fonda, Vera Miles
Dir: Sir Alfred Hitchcock

Classic Hitchcock, that would be the one phrase definition of this movie. Based on a true story, this movie is more a gripping documentary of the events which happened. Sir Alfred has also used many of the locations where the events happened and has also used the people involved in the case in some small roles in the movie.

The story… In New York, a wrong man is accused of hold-up and robbery. All the witnesses and the circumstances point to this man, who is a honest, law abiding musician who works in a local club as a cello player. How is he absolved of the acquisition? That is the story.

Henry Fonda plays Christopher Emmanuel Balestrero Aka. Manny Balestrero. Vera Miles plays Mrs. Balestrero. Sir Alfred moves the story around how things unfolded and the court room drama before Manny is acquitted, but that is not before he checks his wife into a mental asylum.

One thing very unlike many Hitchcock movies is the final frame of the movie, a super saying Mrs. Balestrero came out of mental rehab 2 years later and they lived happily after. This is very unlike Sir Alfred, who normally prefers an abstract ending for his movies giving freedom for the viewer to come to his own conclusion about the ending (necessarily a happy one!!).

That said, this is a great movie and a must watch for anyone who likes Sir Alfred and his movie making style, Suspense, tension and those will he or will he not moments.

Trivia: Sir Alfred Hitchcock appears early in the movie. Introducing the movie to the audience and familiarizing them that this is a true story.

This film is based on the book "The True Story of Christopher Emmanuel Balestrero" by Maxwell Anderson, who incidentally has penned the screenplay for this movie.

Maxwell was contracted by Hitchcock to write the screenplay for what would become Vertigo later. But unfortunately his screenplay was rejected by Sir Alfred.

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