Friday, 19 February 2016

I've Just Seen: The Wrong Man (1956)

The Wrong Man (1956)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

The scenario played out in Hitchcock's film is probably everyone's worst nightmare: that you would be falsely charged with committing a crime, and all the evidence stacks up against you. Hitchcock would later revisit this idea in North By Northwest, but in a more thrilling way which heralded the Bond films. The tragedy of Henry Ford's Manny Balestrero is that he is an ordinary man, and though not wealthy, stands to lose a lot.

The story is based on the true events of Emmanuel Balestrero and his family. Hitchcock elevates the material, giving the story a touch of noir to it, with the black-and-white cinematography, and shadowy movements of people at night. Ford is great at being the everyman here, moving around in an almost stupor as he can't quite believe what is happening. Vera Miles is equally good as his wife, who suffers a breakdown as a result of the charges against her husband.

Though not considered one of Hitchcock's best, this is a solid and surprisingly engaging story. There is little of the action of North By Northwest, but we get a very realistic depiction of the law turning against you. 


  1. This is a great movie and underrated too. The breakdown of their little family feels so real and I cannot watch this without feeling the cold sweat. There is real panic here.

    1. Hitchcock handled the realism of the emotions really well. We feel the panic as well, which I think this why it was included on the list.