'The Wrong Man' on Blu-ray

Category: Blu-ray's and DVD's

Henry Fonda and Vera Miles star in this Alfred Hitchcock film based on a true story. The Wrong Man is an emotional and stunning story of mistaken identity, which often is at the center of many of Hitchcock’s fictional films.

This 1956 black and white film focuses on the justice system in NYC. Manny Balestrero (Fonda) is a musician at the famous Stork Club. He has a loving wife (Miles) and two young sons. One night on his way home from work he is picked up by the police and taken into custody for the crime of robbery. Earlier that day he had gone to the office of his life insurance company to discuss taking a loan on his wife’s policy because they needed money for medical bills. The people at the company recognized him as the man who robbed them in the past. That brought Manny to the attention of the police.

Manny is confused about the entire incident. He cooperates with the police in every way, including walking into stores so the storeowners can see if they recognize him from earlier robberies. This entire system is obsolete and very strange, however that is the way it was done 60 years ago in NYC.

Almost in a daze, Manny goes through the steps and does everything they ask of him. Finally he ends up in a prison where he wonders if he’ll ever make bail. When he does his wife Rose (Miles) calls a lawyer (Anthony Quayle) she heard about and sets up an appointment. He decides to take the case.

In the meantime Manny and Rose try to find people who can corroborate their alibies for the dates of the robberies. They come to dead ends, literally. When it looks bleak, things get bleaker. Rose suffers a breakdown.

The story focuses on the accusations of witnesses to the robberies who insist Manny was the robber. How can they accuse an innocent man? He is a decent family man and a hard worker. This man can’t catch a break. Even his handwriting samples resemble the actual robbery note. What can he do?

The movie is intriguing and extremely well acted. Fonda is fabulous as the man fingered for crimes he didn’t commit, and Miles turns in a heart wrenching performance as the woman who goes from a happy homemaker to a troubled and tormented patient.

The bonus feature on this Blu-ray is about the story and Hitchcock. Fans of the famous director know he always makes a sly cameo in all of his films however he felt so strongly about this one he wanted to take all the whimsy out of the movie. Instead, he made a dramatic introduction to the film.

The Wrong Man on Blu-ray is part of the Warner Archive Collection and is available from their website.

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for 20 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.

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