CAPE FEAR (1962) B/W widescreen 106m dir: J. Lee Thompson
w/Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, Polly Bergen, Lori Martin, Martin Balsam, Jack Kruschen, Telly Savalas, Barrie Chase, Paul Comi, Edward Platt
Brutal tale of a revenge-seeking convict (Mitchum) preying upon the sensibilities of the lawyer (Peck) who sent him to prison. Excellent performances, with a brilliant study in sadism by Mitchum as the meanie.
Variety said of his performance: "... Mitchum has no trouble being utterly hateful. Wearing a Panama fedora and chomping a cocky cigar, the menace of his visage has the hiss of a poised snake."
From The Movie Guide: "Unforgettable villainy. Suspenseful and very frightening, thanks to Robert Mitchum's lethally threatening performance and the frightened reactions of a pro cast. ...
"J. Lee Thompson directs at a clip, until the crawl toward the bayou climax, where the minutes feel like hours, and your heart sits in your throat. Peck is careful not to act the fear; he's an interesting foe for Mitchum. Bergen's performance reminds one that she should have been a bigger star, given her beauty and undeniable talent, and Martin recalls an era when teenagers really were innocent. Balsam, Savalas, and Chase contribute effective cameos. The musical score by Bernard Herrmann is a nerve-beater."
Remade by Martin Scorsese in 1991 with Robert De Niro taking the Mitchum role.