Warner Home Video
Cast: Henry Fonda, Vera Miles
Extras: Featurette, Trailer
Manny Balestrero (Henry Fonda) is a bass player at New York’s famous Stork Club. A loving husband and family man, he is always concerned about the well being of his loved ones. One night when he returns home he is picked up by police under the suspicion of having committed a series of hold-ups in the neighborhood. Of course, Manny did no such thing, and yet a series of people positively identify him as the perpetrator. Evidence is so overwhelming in fact that Manny is sent to prison but is released when his family posts his bail.
"The Wrong Man" is probably the saddest of all Alfred Hitchcock films. It is so deeply emotional that you just can’t help but be affected by the hopelessness of Manny’s situation as well. Constantly I found myself wondering "What if that happened to me?" We don’t go through life making sure we have an accountable alibi for every second of our time and yet if you get in a situation the way Manny does entirely without his wrongdoing, we too would be hopelessly overwhelmed by our inability to produce convincing explanations. When his wife becomes distraught, the viewer just feels how the entire world is coming down on Manny and it illustrates, just how fragile our lives are in many ways.
Warner Home Video is presenting the movie in a 1.85:1 <$PS,widescreen> transfer that is <$16x9,enhanced for 16x9> TV sets. The images is very clean at all times, without blemishes or mars, and it is also very stable. It is a bit grainy at times as a result of the original print but I never found it to be distracting. Instead it adds to the vintage feel of the film and even to the almost surreal events happening at times. The black and white picture has great contrast, rendering blacks absolutely deep and solid while also giving the image bright highlights that never bleed. No edge-enhancement is evident and the compression is also without flaws.
Warner presents "The Wrong Man" in its original mono audio track. The audio has been cleaned up and is entirely free of pops or hiss, and makes for a surprisingly clear presentation. While the frequency response is of course limited due to the materials age, it never sounds overly harsh or unnatural. Dialogues are well integrated and are always understandable and Bernard Herrmann’s wonderful score once again comes through in all its stinging brilliance, adding immensely to the atmosphere of the film as a whole.
The movie’s theatrical trailer is also included on the release.
"The Wrong Man" is once again a wonderfully crafted film by the master of suspense. Very different in its feel and clearly the most serious film Hitchcock has ever made, it nonetheless carries his signature all over and manages to keep audiences on the edge from the first to the last frame. Warner Home Video has prepared a fitting DVD release for this unforgettable and touching movie. For fans of classic Hitchcock thrillers, "The Wrong Man" is definitely another DVD highlight that can’t be missed.