Black SplatCape Fear (1962)
   

"You’re going to live a long life...in a cage!"

Cape Fear - Sam Bowden Holds Gun on Max Cady

Description: Lawyer Sam Bowden (Gregory Peck) tells off criminal Max Cady (Robert Mitchum) in the motion picture Cape Fear (1962).

Eight years ago, Sam Bowden sent Max Cady to prison on the charge of rape. Now, recently released Max Cady slowly begins to stalk Bowden and the members of his family.

“Didn’t remember me right off, did you? Well, I guess I‘ve changed a little. Where I’ve been, if you don’t change, they’re real disappointed.”

Max Cady wants his revenge for those years in prison and while he was there he studied up on the law and he knows just how to push things so far without breaking it. And Max is in no hurry to stop his war of nerves and tells Sam, "You gonna be old and grey before I ever leave this town." Max even goes so far as to poison the family dog, but Sam can't prove Cady did the dirty deed.

At the bowling alley, Max tells Sam, "Don't mind me Counseler. I'm just getting a gander at the rest of your family." And , later when Max sees Sam's 14-year-old daughter Nancy (Lori Martin) on a boat by the pier, he comments "Say, she' getting to be almost as juicy as your wife, ain't she."

When not taunting the Bowden family, Max finds other ways to amuse himself, like picking up a new girl in town girl named Diane Taylor (Barrie Chase) and going for a drive in the country.


Cape Fear - Max takes a drive with Diane Taylor
Diane: Why are we going this way?
Max: Better scenery.
Diane: What would you know about scenery? Or beauty? Or any of the things that really make life worth living? You're just an animal: coarse, lustful, barbaric.
Max: Keep right on talkin', honey. I like it when you run me down like that.
Diane: Max Cady, what I like about you is... you're rock bottom. I wouldn't expect you to understand this, but it's a great comfort for a girl to know she could not possibly sink any lower.

Later in her room, Max beats Diane. The next day, the frightened girl refuses to give testimony of an assault and instead decides to leave town. Before she goes, she tells Charles Sievers (Telly Savalas), a detective hired by Sam Bowden, "When he walked out of this room he said... he said to consider this only a sample. And from my limited knowledge of human nature, Max Cady isn't a man who makes idle threats."

As Cady's behavior becomes intolerable, Sam Bowden offers to pay him off, if he will just leave town, but Cady is having too much fun and refuses. Disgusted, Sam says, "You shocking degenerate. I've seen the worst - the dregs - but you... you are the lowest. Makes me sick to breathe the same air." Sam leaves the bar, but still does not have the answer to his problem: "Just how do you stop a psychopath who has nothing to lose?"

Charles Sievers advises Sam, "A type like that is an animal, so you have to fight him like an animal."

Cape Fear - Cady talks to Bowden on the phone

At his wits end, Sam hires three men to teach Max a lesson, but Max gets the upper-hand in the fight and then tells Sam via phone, "You just put the law in my hands. And I'm gonna break your heart with it. I got somethin' planned for your wife and kid that they ain't nevah gonna forget. They ain't nevah gonna forget it... and neither will you, Counselor! Nevah!"

Cape Fear- Max Cady attacks Peggy Bowden

To protect his family, Sam sequesters his wife, Peggy (Polly Bergen) and daughter, Nancy on a houseboat on the Cape Fear river in Georgia. But Max tracks the Bowden family down, and proceeds to molest Sam's wife, but Sam intervenes and Cady swims away looking to rape Nancy.

Cape Fear - Max Cady and Sam Bowden fight on riverbank

At the film’s climax, Bowden and Cady clash violently on a riverbank until Bowden overpowers Cady, who shouts, "Go ahead (Shoot me). I just don't give a damn." But Sam declines to kill Cady and instead chooses to send his stalker back to jail:

“No, No. That would be letting you off too easy, too fast. Your words, do you remember? I do. No. We’re gonna take good care of you, gonna nurse you back to health. You’re strong Cady. You’re going to live a long life. In a cage. That’s where you belong and that’s where you’re going. And this time, for life. Bang your head against the walls. Count the years…the months…the hours. Until the day you rot.”

Note: The movie remake of Cape Fear (1991) is set in the town of New Essex, North Carolina and featured three of the original actors from the 1962 film. They included: Gregory Peck as Lee Heller, Cady's new lawyer, Robert Mitchum as Lieutenant Elgart and Martin Balsam as Judge.

This version starred Robert De Niro as Max Cady, a tattooed, psychotic, freakazoid who wants revenge on Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte), the lawyer who originally defended him and got him sent to prison for 14 years. Bowden withheld evidence that could have lessened Cady's sentence, but Bowden, playing both judge and jury, felt Cady should serve a longer term in prison for his extremely violent acts against his victim.

Cape Fear (1991) - Robert De Niro as Max Cady

Now released and savvy in the ways of the law, Cady tells Bowden, "I’m no white trash piece of shit. I’m better than you all. I can outread you, I can outthink you, and I’m gonna’ outlast you. You think a couple whacks to my guts is gonna get me down? It's gonna take a hell of a lot more than that, Counselor, to prove you're better than me!”


Cady: I'm Virgil and I'm guidin' you through the gates of Hell. We are now in the Ninth Circle, the Circle of Traitors. Traitors to country! Traitors to fellow man! Traitors to GOD! You, sir, are charged with betrayin' the principles of all three! Quote for me the American Bar Association's Rules of Professional Conduct, Canon Seven.
Bowden: "A lawyer should represent his client... "
Cady: "Should ZEALOUSLY represent his client within the bounds of the law." I find you guilty, counselor! Guilty of betrayin' your fellow man! Guilty of betrayin' your country and abrogatin' your oath! Guilty of judgin' me and sellin' me out! With the power vested in me by the kingdom of God, I sentence you to the Ninth Circle of Hell! Now you will learn about loss! Loss of freedom! Loss of humanity! Now you and I will truly be the same...

At the end of the remake, Browden manages to handcuff Max Cady to his houseboat that is now broken and battered from a violent storm. Lifting a large rock from the shoreline, Bowden tries to kill Cady, but just as he drops it, a wave washes the boat away. Cady's life is reprieved for a moment, but then the boat sinks, and Max is slowly dragged to the bottom of the river.


Cape Fear (1962) - Movie Poster

Cape Fear (1991) - Movie Poster


 
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