A brutal, suspenseful classic noir masterpiece where a revenge-seeking convict who has just been release from prison after serving an eight-year term for rape and assault, he preys upon the sensibilities of the small-town attorney who help put him away, Gregory Peck in a superlative performance as the righteous attorney Sam Bowden who is terrorized by the convict Max Cady, a psychotic-rapist who is more animal than a man, he is chillingly played by Robert Mitchum in a brilliant study in sadism, Bowden is a man of the law who is respected and admired and now is forced to examine his own values and sink lower than he thought possible in order to protect his family from the pursuit of the monstrous Cady, who is now stalking his beautiful wife, played nicely by Polly Bergen and his teenaged daughter, played by young Lori Martin in a excellent turn. Bowden is legally powerless to keep Cady from playing his deadly game of cat and mouse, but all the these events will lead to a heart-stopping climax aboard a houseboat on the Cape Fear river. Brilliant direction by J. Lee Thompsom with a outstanding supporting performances by Martin Balsam, Telly Savalas and Barrie Chasse, but Robert Mitchum steals the film outright he creates a unstoppable force of pure hate, a representation of all we fear and loathe in a almost graceful subtlety, he is evil to core, Mitchum so immersed himself so fully into the skin and psyche of this beast of a man that he never seems like he's acting. A magnificently haunting score by Bernard Herrmann and stunning black & white cinematography by Sam Leavitt. This is dark cinema at its best. Highly Recommended.