Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Cape Fear (1991)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Cape Fear (1991)

In Martin Scorsese's remake of the original 1962 film with Robert Mitchum:

  • the portrayal of vengeful psychotic Max Cady (Robert De Niro) threatening lawyer Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte) and his wife Leigh (Jessica Lange) and daughter
  • Max's confrontation on the street with Sam Bowden as he drove along in an open convertible
  • the scene of Cady handcuffing the hands of law clerk Lori Davis (Illeana Douglas) behind her back, then viciously biting off a chunk of her cheek and savagely raping and beating her - sending her to the hospital with a mauled face and broken arm
  • another brutal and unsettling scene, in which Cady strangled Sam's hired private investigator Claude Kersek (Joe Don Baker) with a garrotte, and shot him in the head as he struggled (blood showered onto both of them), and then spoke into his ear: "How about that present that you like, you white-trash piece of s--t"
  • the tense and very disturbing, repellent yet fascinating scene when he posed as a drama teacher on the set of a play in the school's auditorium and then proceeded to verbally and physically seduce (she sucked on his thumb) and kiss the rebellious, naive, sexually-curious and troubled fifteen-year old daughter Danielle (Juliette Lewis) - with her dual responses of fear and excitement
Seduction of Daughter Danielle
(Juliette Lewis)
  • the climactic houseboat confrontation on Cape Fear River when Cady was handcuffed to their houseboat and drowned while speaking madly in tongues when the boat sank

Max Cady
(Robert De Niro)

Unsettling Assault on Female Law Clerk
(Illeana Douglas)

Cady's Murder of Bowden's PI Claude
(Joe Don Baker)

The End of Max Cady


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