Christopher Emmanuel Balestrero, "Manny" to his friends, is a string bassist, a devoted husband and father, and a practicing Catholic. His eighty-five dollar a week gig playing in the jazz combo at the Stork Club is barely enough to make ends meet. The Balestreros' lives will become a little more difficult with the major dental bills his wife Rose will be incurring. As such, Manny decides to see if he can borrow off of Rose's life insurance policy. But when he enters the insurance office, he is identified by some of the clerks as the man that held up the office twice a few months earlier. Manny cooperates with the police, as he has nothing to hide. Manny learns that he is a suspect in not only those hold-ups, but a series of other hold-ups in the same Jackson Heights neighborhood in New York City where they live. The more that Manny cooperates, the more guilty he appears to the police. With the help of Frank O'Connor, the attorney that they hire, they try to prove Manny's innocence. ...Written by
Sir Alfred Hitchcock filmed one of his usual cameos, standing in a restaurant as Manny sits, but decided on using a narrated prologue instead. See more »
Christopher Balestrero is called "Chris" by the police until they get him to the precinct and start parading him around the town to be identified. When they get back to the precinct, they begin calling him "Manny". I don't think that there is any time when the police are advised of his preference to be called Manny. See more »
This is Alfred Hitchcock speaking. In the past, I have given you many kinds of suspense pictures. But this time, I would like you to see a different one. The difference lies in the fact that this is a true story, every word of it. And yet it contains elements that are stranger than all the fiction that has gone into many of the thrillers that I've made before.
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THE WRONG MAN has to be the scariest film made by Alfred Hitchcock. The driving force is it's realism. Based on a true story, we follow a struggling Queens musician (Henry Fonda) falsly accused of local robberies. We don't have suave Cary Grant dodging cropdusters or Mount Rushmore. There is no darkly funny Robert Walker making quips about murder. It's all frightfully real- the arrest process, the breakdown of Fonda's family (An incredible performance by Vera Miles as his wife) and the grueling courtroom process. The opening hour of unsmiling detectives checking Fonda's story, and watching Fonda become more defenseless is outright chilling.
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