The Wrong Man. 1956. USA. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Screenplay by Angus McPhail, Maxwell Anderson. With Vera Miles, Henry Fonda, Anthony Quayle. 35mm. 105 min.
A rare Hitchcock film based on true events, The Wrong Man follows Manny (Henry Fonda), a musician and family man who is misidentified (numerous times, no less) as the perpetrator of crimes he did not commit. “Hitchcock contains multitudes—he prefigures James Bond in North by Northwest, reinvents the gothic romance in Notorious, does a Luis Buñuel riff in *Marnie*—and for me this film reveals an unflinching, almost Bressonian contemplation of a man falling from grace by a whim of the cosmos. This is Hitchcock’s “The Book of Job.” In the film, the tenuous line that prevents a man’s fall into the abyss reveals the core anxiety that propels Hitchcock’s narrative” (Guillermo del Toro).