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Cape Fear (1991)

R  |   |  Crime, Thriller  |  15 November 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 119,909 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 259 user | 103 critic | 9 from Metacritic.com

A convicted rapist, released from prison after serving a fourteen-year sentence, stalks the family of the lawyer who originally defended him.



(novel), (earlier screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Zully Montero ...
Craig Henne ...
Forest Burton ...
Edgar Allan Poe IV ...
Rod Ball ...


Sam Bowden is a small-town corporate attorney/"Leave It to Beaver"-esque family-man. Max Cady is a tattooed, cigar-smoking, bible-quoting, rapist. What do they have in common? Fourteen years, ago Sam was a public defender assigned to Max Cady's rape trial, and he made a serious error: he hid a document from his illiterate client that could have gotten him acquitted. Now, the cagey, bibliophile Cady has been released, and he intends to teach Sam Bowden and his family a thing or two about loss. Written by James Craver

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prison | lawyer | rapist | rape | revenge | See All (212) »


He learned to read. See more »


Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 November 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cabo de miedo  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)


$79,100,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The scene where Robert De Niro sits on the brick wall, he actually sits in front of a blue screen where the fireworks were added later in production. See more »


When Lori meets Max in the bar, he doesn't understand her when she says "debauchery." Lori says, "Debauchery--it's a 3-syllable word." It's a 4-syllable word. See more »


[first lines]
Danielle: My reminiscence. I always thought that for such a lovely river the name is mystifying: "Cape Fear". When the only thing to fear on those enchanted summer nights was that the magic would end and real life would come crashing in.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Later half of the credits are played to the sound of nighttime crickets. See more »


Featured in Hollywood vs. Religion (1994) See more »


Do Right Woman--Do Right Man
Written by Dan Penn and Chips Moman
Performed by Aretha Franklin
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of the better thrillers of the 90's
9 December 2004 | by (Greenville, NY) – See all my reviews

I have wanted to see this movie for quite some time, and I finally saw it, and I thought that it was great. I am a huge Martin Scorsese fan, and I would have to say this is one of his most true to life films, even though its not his best film. The acting is great,and so is the music. The film will send shivers through your body. This is also one of DeNiro's most underrated performances and deserved more attention at the time of its release. Its also great to see some of the actors from the original version show up in cameo roles. If you like horror films and thrillers, you will most likely enjoy this. ***1/2 out of ****. A recommended viewing.

47 of 62 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Cape Fear and What about Bob? alah-qp
Creeps on this site re Juliette Lewis Pleasepassthemilkplease
Max Cady: The 'Best' Villain Ever? tryggvason_asgeir
Jessica Lange Is AWFUL In This Film. ChairmanOfTheBored
Cady took a risk with Lori luks-11
Robert DeNiro was HOT as Max. TheArtfulDetective
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