Cape Fear : "Cape Fear" (1991) question

"Cape Fear" (1991) question

I have seen this movie a dozen times and right now I am watching only the parts with Juliette Lewis because she is by far the best reason to watch this movie. She is refreshingly natural as well as highly compelling in her role.

My question has to do with the scene after De Niro's psychopath has messed with her a bit in the high school auditorium and Nick Nolte asks Danielle if Max Cady touched her. She gets this teasing smile on her face which I understand could frustrate a parent, but then he kind of over-reacts and yells at her and then Danielle practically goes into a fetal position. It seems like her dad might have anger issues that could have frightened her in the past. (???) Then, Dad apologizes and even with his apology, he kind of overdoes, telling her how very sorry he is, caressing her hair and maybe even gently stroking her face. It was weird!

And then, after a bit of whimpering, Danielle shouts "Get out of here! Get out of here!" To which the dad promptly does just that.

Does anybody recall this scene? It just feels like there is supposed to be something else going on underneath the surface with the way the father and daughter are acting towards each other, but I cannot for the life of me figure out what this might be. Maybe Scorsese was attempting to bring subtext to a story which couldn't really accommodate all that much subtext. Like phony depth or something.

Anybody have any ideas?

Re: "Cape Fear" (1991) question

I think she made that teasing smile because of her normal rebellious teen nature and he overreacted because he was seriously trying to find out if Cady touched her. Some parents commonly overreact like that and it hurts their relationship with their child. Of course, teens often overreact too, with similar results. It has been so throughout time.

But no, I don't think it signalled any type of undercurrent. Scorsese would have put that front and center at some point in the story. He's not known for shying away from such topics.

You might check the trivia section on IMDB. There could be something there that will prove my analysis wrong.

Re: "Cape Fear" (1991) question

Did you know the screenplay of the original and the remake were adapted from a novel, The Executioners? There could be clues there.

There is a link to a PDF of the screenplay in the third paragraph here:

https://cinephiliabeyond.org/cape-fear-how-scorsese-added-complexity-and-humanity-to-a-beloved-classic/

Re: "Cape Fear" (1991) question

I read that book many years ago. The one part that I remember was where the lawyer says about Cady (paraphrase) "you can't go after his dignity because Max Cady has no dignity (to start with)" I remember it kind of made a chill go down my back because of the implication of what that means. Like Cady being a savage, something less than human.

I appreciate your input.

Re: "Cape Fear" (1991) question

I remember thinking how creepy it was when she was sucking his fingers

If we take the time to see with the heart and not with the mind, we shall see that we are surrounded completely by angels ~ Carlos Santana

Re: "Cape Fear" (1991) question

Yes, it actually kind of grossed me out.

I am sure when it was released in the theaters, the audience would have responded with audible groans and ewwwws… I can just hear it.

Re: "Cape Fear" (1991) question



I saw it in the theater. I was curious because my step sister said Illeana Douglas looked like me

I was mostly her hair, I was wearing it in that style at the time

If we take the time to see with the heart and not with the mind, we shall see that we are surrounded completely by angels ~ Carlos Santana

Re: "Cape Fear" (1991) question

Do you think he's hot?

https://www.courttv.com/title/20-wi-v-wirth-andrew-wirth/

If we take the time to see with the heart and not with the mind, we shall see that we are surrounded completely by angels ~ Carlos Santana

Re: "Cape Fear" (1991) question

He's definitely cute. I don't think I'd call him hot exactly. He's got some sex appeal, I think. Do you find him hot?

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Re: "Cape Fear" (1991) question

I do! I love his face. That's when he was in his 20s. He's in his late 30s now



If we take the time to see with the heart and not with the mind, we shall see that we are surrounded completely by angels ~ Carlos Santana

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Re: "Cape Fear" (1991) question

Shut your bunghole

If we take the time to see with the heart and not with the mind, we shall see that we are surrounded completely by angels ~ Carlos Santana

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Re: "Cape Fear" (1991) question

I was always unsure if Danielle was meant to be a bit retarded or not. As far as I can remember it wasnt mentioned but I thought she seemed a little "special needs"

Re: "Cape Fear" (1991) question

People say that all the time. I might be able to agree somewhat except for the fact that when she was locked up in that small storage bin, she was able to keep her wits about her, plan ahead and when the time came, light Cady on fire without hesitation. She saved their lives. I doubt someone with "special needs" could have carried that off.

Danielle was the only character in the movie who had a bit of sense.

Re: "Cape Fear" (1991) question

A lot of what Scorsese did with Cape Fear doesn't make sense and it just seems so random.

He likes his actors to improvise too and that might be of detriment to the narrative and create of a bit of confusion over something that might not be in sync with what needs to be conveyed.

Lewis was natural and real, but I find it hard to even watch the film just for her performance, because its just OTT and Lange is wasted in the suffering wife role with not much to do and its the worst I've ever seen her. She was misused.

Norman! What did you put in my tea?

Re: "Cape Fear" (1991) question

I am probably 1 of the very few people left on the whole entire planet who has still not seen the Movie "CAPE FEAR" (both the Original and the Remake).
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