Release Date: Sep 18, 2001
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This edition of Cape Fear may not have everything, but nobody will come away disappointed with this Universal DVD release of the taut suspensor. The widescreen letterbox dual-layer transfer was struck from a very clean print; the print has some minor scratches on it but nothing that is too obtrusive. The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track is pristine and showcases Bernard Herrmann's knock-out score. There are a few extras, the best of which is an original "making of" documentary. Better than the average DVD featurette, it basically contains edited interviews with star/producer Gregory Peck and director J. Lee Thompson. Both men are charming and Thompson displays cheeky good humor as he talks about the production in general, star Robert Mitchum in particular, how Hitchcock inspired him, the issue of censorship, and his positive view of the Cape Fear remake. It's an entertaining and educational featurette but it would've been wise to balance the memories of these two people with archival interview material with other members of the cast and crew, particularly Mitchum. During the Great Depression, the future actor was incarcerated as a teenage hobo in Georgia (where location shooting took place) and put into a chain gang. His crime was homelessness and the state got free labor out of prisoners at a time when unemployment ran rampant. Mitchum never forgot this injustice and was none too happy to be back in Georgia. Supposedly, the grudge he held about it colored his chilling portrayal of a brilliant, charming sociopath who feels he was wronged. His grounded, understated performance is far more chilling than anything Robert De Niro did in the worthy remake. The disc also includes the theatrical trailer, production notes, a poster gallery, biographies, and a rather paltry photo album.View full details