Wrong Man, The (1956)

The Wrong Man (1956), directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

This is an odd one in the Hitchcock filmography: a true story stranger than fiction. Filmed on location. He forgoes his usual cameo to present a serious introduction.

Henry Fonda is tremendously sympathetic as an innocent man arrested for armed robbery, helplessly caught up in the police, court and prison machinery. On top of everything else, because of the pressure his wife Vera Miles sinks into depression and paranoia and is hospitalized.

He gets to face the "right man" briefly. The two women who accused him falsely: one strides by with nose in the air, the other tearfully scuttles past.

It's a sobering story, meticulously told. An interesting experiment from the director, but humorless, which we do not expect from him.

We seldom consider his religious sentiments, but they come out now and then, as in I Confess (1953). Here, our suffering man prays for a miracle and gets one.

In the Truffaut interviews the two directors discuss the difficulty of adapting Hitchcock's style to the docu-drama genre.

Bernard Herrmann score and Robert Burks photography, both long-time Hitchcock collaborators.

Available on Warner Archive Blu-ray. Very grainy image.