THE WRONG MAN (1957) B/W widescreen 105m. dir: Alfred Hitchcock

w/Henry Fonda, Vera Miles, Harold J. Stone, Anthony Quayle

Frightening account of what happens to a man and his wife when he is wrongly accused of being the one who has performed a series of holdups. Based on a factual event, this story is presented (quite literally) by the director as a psuedo-documentary. And that part of it is certainly there: in the processing of the victim through the various indignities he suffers as he is put in jail and in the helplessness of the couple in their search for an alibi for Manny. Yet the film is really an examination of the disintegration of a family, which Hitchcock shows in all its bleak tenderness. There are some magical moments: e.g., when Fonda prays for deliverance at the alter in his bedroom, Hitchcock's slow dissolve to the face of the real perpetrator of the crimes is chilling. This is a "difficult" Hitchcock movie in that it doesn't "entertain" us or treat us to the expected Hitchcockian thrills, but the rewards are there.