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Sight and Sound (1997) - The Wrong Man




Tunney and Macnab review The Wrong Man directed by Alfred Hitchcock.


The Wrong Man

Alfred Hitchcock/USA 1956

This ranks as one of Hitchcock's least characteristic films. It's a brooding affair, shorn of either humour or suspense. Henry Fonda is the protagonist, a devoted family man who ekes out a living as a musician in a jazz band. When he is wrongly accused of armed robbery, his life falls apart. Hitchcock curbs his usual, formal extravagance, and instead shoots in pared-down fashion in black and white. Once the innocent man's nightmare begins, he's as powerless as a character in a Kafka allegory. Everything, from the oppressive cityscapes to the hostile faces of storekeepers and cops, seems set against him. He responds by becoming more and more introspective, while his wife (Vera Miles) has a nervous breakdown. A grim, downbeat story, all the more compelling for the plain way in which it is told. (MFB No. 278)

Retail: Warner; £10.99; B/W; Certificate PG