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May 23, 2007

The Wrong Man - 7

This is Hitchcock's only film based on true events rather than fiction. It is the story of the arrest and trial of Manny Balestrero (Henry Fonda). He is identified as a robber when he tries to get a loan, and is arrested, charged, and tried. His innocence is constantly in doubt as he cannot find any witnesses for an alibi or provide any evidence. His wife, Rose (Vera Miles), becomes more and more suspicious of her husband and eventually gets mentally ill as she comes to blame herself and see all of life as a downward spiral. While the film does have some resolution at the end, it remains somewhat of a dark film as the consequences of the mistaken identity have real and devastating effects. Like most of Hitchcock's films it deals honestly with guilt, cynicism, fear, and often hidden human desires. This film is also the most obvious case of Hitchcock's fear of police and authorities, which is said to come from his father having the young Alfred locked in a prison cell for five minutes.

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