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Laramie Movie Scope:
Cape Fear

Good remake of a film noir classic

[Strip of film rule]
by Robert Roten, Film Critic
[Strip of film rule]

October 26, 1991 -- On the other end of the film spectrum is ``Cape Fear,'' the latest effort by master director Martin Scorsese. The film is less ambitious than some of his recent films in that it is a formula thriller. The film rises above the standard plot because of the vast talent of the people involved.

The story centers around a psychopathic ex-convict played by Robert DiNiro, who was betrayed by his lawyer (Nick Nolte). DiNiro returns from prison to take revenge on Nolte and his family and in the process sets out to prove he is superior to them.

As usual DiNiro is superb in a performance where he at one moment is charming, the next a raging killer. Nolte is also up to the task as the guilty lawyer and later, outraged victim. Jessica Lange plays the lawyer's wife and Juliette Lewis plays the couple's lawyer, who finds herself attracted to DiNiro. Both actresses do a fine job. All the characters are well-rounded and believable, and all are shown with their flaws.

The film is a remake of a 1962 film of the same name starring Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum, both of whom also appear in this film, along with Joe Don Baker. Even if you have not seen the original, this film is awfully predictable, but Scorsese still gets you on the edge of your seat with his quick cutaways and masterful use of suspense techniques made famous by Alfred Hitchcock.

The opening title sequences are excellent, among the best I've ever seen. The cinematography is top notch. Camera movement and angles are innovative and captivating. There's a lot to recommend this film. It certainly rises above its weaknesses. It rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)