Cape Fear (1991)

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Sam Bowden is a small-town corporate attorney. Max Cady is a tattooed, cigar-smoking, Bible-quoting, psychotic rapist. What do they have in common? 14 years ago, Sam was a public defender assigned to Max Cady's rape trial, and he made a serious error: he hid a document from his illiterate client that could have gotten him acquitted. Now, the cagey Cady has been released, and he intends to teach Sam Bowden and his family a thing or two about loss.

A bit too campy for me.


In the original film, Sam Bowden was a good man trying to defend his family from a madman. In the Scorsese version, Bowden is flawed and guilty, and indeed everyone in this film is weak in one way or another, and there are no heroes. That's the Scorsese touch. […] Unlike the simplistic version of this [story] we have seen in a hundred thrillers, what Scorsese gives us is a villain who has been wronged, seeking to harm a hero who has sinned.

Roger Ebert