The Wrong Man (1956) – Alfred Hitchcock

9c899-the-wrong-man-posterDirected by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Henry Fonda and Vera Miles, this film, based on a true story, is about an innocent man who is falsely accused of armed robbery. Manny is an unassuming musician who lives with his family in New York and barely scrapes by paying the bills. Unfortunately he closely resembles another man who held up a local insurance office. The police are called and then a few witnesses label Manny as the culprit. A coincidence on a writing sample seem to solidify his guilt and so he is jailed. Manny’s wife and family scrounge up the money for bail and a lawyer is found to represent him. Manny tries to prove he was on vacation during the incident but his three acquaintances are either dead or cannot be found. However, Manny has another alibi that his lawyer thinks may stand up in court. At the same time Rose begins to blame herself and her mental health deteriorates forcing Manny to put her in a sanitarium. His first appearance ends in a mistrial but Manny is still in despair. Finally good fortune strikes him when the real robber is finally caught. Manny is free but not without horrible consequences. I have to say Fonda is always so sympathetic in these type of roles and Miles has a good dramatic performance. Although it is lesser known, this film shows the diversity of Hitchcock. Here he essentially makes a documentary and it is just as powerful as many of his other great films in its own way.

4/5 Stars

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