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The Wrong Man

7.41 h 45 min1957X-RayPG
Manny Ballestero is an honest hardworking musician at New York's Stork Club. When his wife needs money for dental treatment, Manny goes to the local insurance office to borrow on her policy. Employees at the office mistake him for a hold-up man who robbed them the year before and the police are called. The film tells the true story of what happened to Manny and his family.
Alfred Hitchcock
Henry FondaVera MilesAnthony Quayle
None Available
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Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.
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Warner Bros.
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4.5 out of 5 stars

322 global ratings

  1. 67% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 20% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 8% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 3% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

schumann_bgReviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 February 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
a masterful film based on a real-life case
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contains slight spoilers

This is one of the finest Hitchcock films - coming from someone who's not really a fan of Hitchcock. But this one is really a wake-up call to people who may believe in the infallibility of the legal system, or the evidence of witnesses; it shows things are far less reliable than we may suppose, and that people will swear they recognise someone when in fact they can't be certain. Manny Balestrero works as a bass player in the Stork Club in New York; he makes little money and struggles to keep his wife and two sons. One day he is arrested for supposedly having carried out a hold-up in a building society, and then in two further premises. We do not doubt his innocence, but many, including the police, are all too willing to believe the witnesses. The casting of Henry Fonda is uncanny, as he is able to compel attention playing a 'good' character, where others might end up boring viewers. You could never be bored by Fonda's expressions. The film has an almost documentary feel, and seems short on the kind of flourishes Hitchcock generally makes. But the subject demands this, really, having far more of social realism than some of his other films, especially the sophisticated films on voyeurism and obsession he turned to in the same decade. At certain points it seems to reach out towards Robert Bresson's austerity; of course it doesn't go as far in that direction, but the measured pacing and understatement of Manny's style are not so different from the lead in A Man Escaped, and Bresson also focuses on the grimness of prison life as we see here. The stripping of Manny's dignity, all carried out with no feeling whatsoever for him, is truly shocking to see. Hitchcock also shows a further consequence in Manny's life that is even more devastating, but best not to reveal. Nowadays with forensic evidence there is often more conclusive proof, but The Wrong Man is a salutary reminder of human error and the shortcomings of police and legal procedures.
6 people found this helpful
Andrei sReviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 August 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
You've got nothing to hide...?
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By the mid 50s there was nothing more predictable than a ' Hitchcock film where an innocent character is out of his depth ' e.g. I confess,the 39 steps,saboteur & others.But this is a very different type of film,not just because it's based on a true story ,there are no mcguffins & in many ways while not an experiment in neorealism,it is close in style to some of the Italian or French films from this period.
Henry Fonda is perfect as the increasingly pressured ,confused and desperate everyman and is given solid support with many familiar faces from that era,with Anthony Quayle & also Vera Miles who acts as the soul of sadness ,compared to the main character who you watch with empathy ,rising anger & frustration with the fact that being innocent of a crime may not be enough.If you have seen this film there is little I can add, if not sit back and if not 'enjoy' then certainly appreciate one of A .H.s' lesser known but more rewarding stories -special mention to Bernard Herman for an excellent score that fits like a glove.The film (2004 edition) looks good and is in 1.85:1 ratio. Apart from a trailer the disc has a good 20min look at the movie.The film comes with French & Italian language versions & with subtitles in the mentioned languages+Arabic,Dutch & Bulgarian.(Also for amusement in a very serious film,you could 'spot the error' during a line up scene- It's a big one..literally)
7 people found this helpful
D J FReviewed in the United Kingdom on 02 December 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Thoughtful true story playing on Hitchcock's own fears
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You'll probably never get deeper into the psyche of Alfred Hitchcock in this powerful, serious and true tale that is as much about Hitchcock's own personal fears as it is the natural destination of his regular wronged man theme. The story of Manny Balestrero is a sobering case of mistaken identity that put a financially strapped but innocent and hard working family man through the frightening experience of being suspected, accused on circumstantial evidence, treated like a criminal and locked in a tiny, cold cell. Hitchcock spares us nothing as we see the flimsy evidence compiled, the booking procedure, the loneliness in the tiny cell with his wife and mother out of their minds with worry, being locked in jail on remand until the substantial bail is arranged, and the struggle to pay for defence counsel. Portrayed brilliantly by Henry Fonda, Balestrero is shown as a calm, well liked, humble family man pushed to his limits as the evidence mounts up against him and people who could provide him with an alibi either cannot be located or have died. Balestreo's wife Rose, sympathetically played by Vera Miles isn't as strong as Manny and slides into a deep depression, adding more pressure to the cauldron.

This is a sobering, beautifully constructed film. The 'Making of' documentary contained on the disc shows just how much this project meant to Hitchcock, with plenty of examples showing storyboards next to scenes from the film, with Hitchcock meticulously planning every shot for maximum effect. The print of this 1956 film is pristine, with many atmospheric shots, particularly of cells and handcuffs, playing on his own fears and leaving the audience thinking "What if". There's no instant happy ending either thanks to the damage done to the couple. Hitchcock used many location shots in and around New York's Jackson Heights where Manny lived. Bernard Herrmann's score is respectful and not intrusive, and features unusually several jazz numbers as Manny plays double bass at The Stork Club, who remained loyal based on their knowledge of Balestrero's personality. A true craftsman is at work here.
7 people found this helpful
Keith MoyesReviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 December 2017
2.0 out of 5 stars
Poor synchronisation.
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I bought this Warner Archive Blu Ray as an upgrade from DVD. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a downgrade. In HD the picture looks slightly grainier than in DVD, but the real problem is that the lip synch is a bit soft. Initially, I just sensed that something was not quite right, but the effect is quite subtle and I was not entirely sure it was a problem of synchronisation. However, when I played my DVD version for comparison I immediately knew I was right. Since the source material was probably the same for both formats, it must be a problem of the Blu Ray transcription.

This is not the first time have encountered this problem. Two of the Woody Allen films released on Blu Ray by Arrow (Sleeper and September) have the same issue. Let the buyer beware.
2 people found this helpful
ElleppiReviewed in the United Kingdom on 09 August 2015
4.0 out of 5 stars
Not one of his most famous but a perfect little thriller/noir with great plot and acting
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Not one of Hitch's most famous fiom, this is a little classic with all the best qualities of the Master. A focus on a man and a mystery, a context of characters and places which becomes fastly familiar and make viewer feel more and more into it. Great suspense and twists. An excellent blak and white. Music and sound fx that make the atmosphere even more tense. A playful mice and cat chase with a human drama perfectly embodied by the expressive and sympatethique performance of Henry Fonda. Waitin for the blu ray release
3 people found this helpful
OrlandoReviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 March 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent DVD
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An excellent film based on a true story. I have had a copy of this film that I recorded off the TV many years ago but decided that as I liked this film and will watch it occasionally I would like a proper recording. And this copy, although used, cost me only £1-88 including postage. Henry Fonda as usual plays an excellent part as do the other stars. I suppose it was so easy in those days to be an innocent person accused of a crime they did not commit.
One person found this helpful
Silver SpiritReviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 June 2016
4.0 out of 5 stars
Good solid drama, beautifully filmed and boasting fine picture quality
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Good solid drama that has lost little punch over the years as the plot retains interest throughout the film's running time. I prefer Hitch's later works to be honest (from the 50s on) but this is still a beautifully crafted production with not a shot out of place. I am pleased to report that picture quality is very good on this blu ray release. A satisfying evening's entertainment. But what else would one expect from the much missed Master?
One person found this helpful
RosalindReviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 December 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
good quality product
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I saw this film a number of years ago and enjoyed viewing it again. It is different for a Hitchcock film and illustrates the mistakes that could be made by the police at that time and the fallibility of witness identification of this man played so realistically by Henry Fonda
One person found this helpful
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