Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - October, 2011


"Cape Fear" (1991) (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton



Martin Scorsese brings heart-pounding suspense to one of the most acclaimed thrillers of all time in Cape Fear. Earning an Academy Award® nomination for his brilliant performance, Robert De Niro stars as vicious psychopath Max Cady who emerges after being imprisoned for fourteen years with a single-minded mission - to seek revenge on his attorney Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte). Realizing he is legally powerless to protect his beautiful wife Leigh (Jessica Lange) and his troubled teenage daughter Danielle (Juliette Lewis) against Max's relentless psychological torment, Sam resorts to unorthodox measures, leading to an unforgettable, action-packed showdown on Cape Fear.


  • Universal Studios
  • 1991, Color, Rated R, 2 Hr 8 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.85:1
  • 1080p
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD-Master Audio
  • Starring Robert De Niro, Jessica Lange, Nick Nolte, Juliette Lewis, Joe Don Baker
  • Directed by Martin Scorsese
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes-graphic
  • Sex: Implied
  • Language: Yes


Robert De Niro is extremely terrifying as the vengeful "Max Cady" who is out looking to settle a score. This is definitely a signature role for De Niro, and this may well be one of his many roles that he will be remembered for most. Nick Nolte also gives a solid performance that adds a flawed human quality to his character. In the end, De Niro’s character, who was so careful and clever during most of this movie, degenerates into a bible quoting, maniacal pervert and the ending leaves you feeling unsettled. Still, it is remarkable to see De Niro get totally lost in his character. This film is not for the squeamish as it contains some graphic depictions of violence and rape, but comes just in time for Halloween. (Watch for cameos by Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum who starred in the 1962 version of this film).


The film looks pretty good here, besting the DVD version in clarity and color saturation. Not all scenes are pristine and in focus though, and the darker scenes tend to show noise and crushing. The sound is nice, with all sorts of insect sounds and thunderstorm rain filling the rear channels. The descending 4 note motif that starts the movie score sounds chilling in the DTS-HD MA 5.1 sound field.


Documentary, deleted scenes, photo gallery, matte paintings, behind-the-scenes footage, and theatrical trailer.