MovieChat Forums > Cape Fear (1991) Discussion > Is the audience supposed to think Sam di...

Is the audience supposed to think Sam did the right thing by hiding the evidence?


Because I definitely don't. Everyone deserves a fair trial.

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This was a change from the original that helped "taint" the Bowden character in the remake. Scorsese and his writer felt that made the story more relevant, but it really tainted the Bowden character -- as did his infidelity to his wife in this version(Peck wouldn't think of such a thing in the original.)

An irony about the original is that while Bowden was a lawyer, that didn't inform his original relationship with Cady at all -- he simply came across Cady "attacking"(um, raping?) a woman in the dark alley of a parking lot and evidently both fought Cady and alerted the police. Bowden could have been in ANY profession -- businessman, teacher, salesman. Bowden was, quite simply , a hero who got "involved." THAT's what made Cady furious -- he got involved.

The remake makes sure to give Cady and Bowden the more direct connection: Bowden represented Cady in a rape-attack trial. Bowden hid exculpatory evidence(the "loose" sexual background of the victim.) This makes the remake more "logical" in the relationship between Bowden and Cady...but almost immediately loses the good guy/bad guy power of the first film.

It also gave Cady too much "real justification" for his revenge in the remake. Cady was simply enraged that Bowden "got involved" and fought him and turned him in, in the original.

The remake perhaps could have dropped the coinicidence of the original (Bowden stumbles onto Cady raping a woman in an alley) and indeed made Bowden Cady's actual lawyer - but rather than Bowden hiding the evidence, Cady could simply be enraged that Bowden lost an "honest" defense. Plot fixed.

To your original question: we are no doubt meant to understand WHY Bowden hid the evidence, but no good ever comes of that -- somebody knows(Cady in this case.) One other thing: are we meant to believe that the slutty reputation of the victim created a "she had it coming" belief on Cady's part?

CONT

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Anyway, practically everything and everybody is tainted in the Cape Fear remake. I prefer the original -- Gregory Peck is a good man , a good husband who does NOT cheat on his wife, a good father. The family is good. Cady is evil. Much more satisfying.

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Interesting reply, I haven't seen the original, I didn't know that. We don't know much about the rape case, and obviously being promiscuous doesn't mean you deserve to be raped, but the victim's sexual history can sometimes be relevant. For example, if Cady tied her up, and the report on her sexual history said she enjoyed being tied up, Sam could've used that to argue that it was consensual sex.

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Interesting reply, I haven't seen the original, I didn't know that.

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Yes in the original we have such key differences as (1) Bowden was NOT Cady's attorney(though he WAS an attorney) and (2) Peck did not cheat on his wife.

I like Scorsese as a director, very much, but he said something that I always hated about the changes he ordered to Cape Fear. He said something like "I hated that goody-two shoes family in the original. It made me root for Cady." Alas, even the great Scorsese isn't above wanting to "dirty up" good people in a new version. (He did make Taxi Driver, after all.) And to root for CADY!? Kind of a sick mind. Like too many Hollywood folks, it seems. No mind -- I love the guy as a director. Hah.

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We don't know much about the rape case, and obviously being promiscuous doesn't mean you deserve to be raped, but the victim's sexual history can sometimes be relevant. For example, if Cady tied her up, and the report on her sexual history said she enjoyed being tied up, Sam could've used that to argue that it was consensual sex.

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Yes, "jailhouse lawyer" Max Cady(the DeNiro version) believed that he evidently SHOULD have beaten the rap. We see him do horrible things to Bowden's girlfriend(it was NOT Bowden's girlfriend in the original, either) but it is implied that maybe years of being raped in prison TURNED Cady into a worse criminal when he got out.

I still like the clean-cut good and evil in the original. There is a scene in which Mitchum's Cady is so sick and cruel in his comments to Peck that Peck gets up from tthe table and says to Mitchum: "I"ve seen my share of degenerates, but you are the WORST. The dregs. I'm sickened to breathe the same air as you." That's HERO talk! Nolte never gets to say something like that in the remake.

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That was an excellent analysis. You perfectly articulated a large part of why the remake is second rate compared to the original.

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Thank you!

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