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Feature
Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum star in Hollywood s classic tale of revenge and murder. Robert Mitchum is unforgettable as Max Cady an ex-con determined to exact a terrible revenge on Sam Bowden (Gregory Peck) and his family. Sam is a small-town lawyer whose worst nightmare comes true when the criminal he helped put away returns to stalk his beautiful young wife (Polly Bergen). Sam is legally powerless to keep Max from playing his sadistic game of cat and mouse. Finally, Sam must put his family s lives at stake in a deadly trap that leads to one of the most suspenseful and heart-rending confrontations ever committed to film. Director J. Lee Thompson builds tension with each scene leading to a deadly showdown at Cape Fear. This is truly a masterpiece of shock and suspense. [Offical Synopsis]

Video


This black and white transfer looks great. Crisp edges, lots of detail and a wonderfully clean appearance. However, (record scratch) there are clear signs of DNR tampering, so those wanting a grainier, more true to the original look of the film will maybe come away a little disappointed. It's certainly not the worst offender of the Universal (and indeed other studios) catalogue titles, in fact it's actually pretty great for th emost part but the odd waxy scene is certainly there.

Going back to what works, black levels are solid throughout, there;s a great sense of depth to the image and really this is an  transfer that sparkles in High Definition for the most part. Dirt and damage is almost unnoticeable, unless you really go looking for it (that will be the DNR again) and no matter the setting or situation Cape Fear looks bright and fresh on its Blu-ray home.

Audio


The inherent age of the audio track is hidden well. The score is obviously aged but there's enough power behind to it to modernise well enough and frankly that overbearing score will never age. Dialogue is strong, though sometime sounds a little too clean at times, sometimes making it sound overdubbed but these are all minor things given how good how good this sounds.

There's still a lot to love about this audio track. Rumbling bowling lanes, atmospheric exterior scenes, strong raised voices, this is all upgraded well and keeps Cape Fear sounding fresh throughout.

Extras


No features here folks. They stayed in Max Cady's cell.

Overall


Whether here or in the Scorsese remake Cape Fear is a story that just works. It's tense and places its bad guy on the back of its good guy right until breaking point by playing it largely just on intimidation. Max Cady is a cinematic force who's anti-social behaviour and unrelenting presence never fades and Cape Fear is a film that always draws you in no matter it's age.

Disc wise, the Blu-ray looks great (with a DNR overhaul that works more than it doesn't), sounds great and celebrates the classic as any fan would like but the lack of extras sort of pops the bubble a little and holds this release back from being an across the board win.

* Note: The images on this page are taken from the Blu-ray and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the true quality of the source.

 Cape Fear
 Cape Fear
 Cape Fear
 Cape Fear
 Cape Fear
 Cape Fear


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