Sure, Robert De Niro is creepy in the remake. But he can’t match Mitchum as a satanic satyr stalking a decent family. Years before, lawyer Sam Bowden (Gregory Peck) testified in a case that sent Cady to prison. But Max has a long memory and a luxurious notion of vengeance. “I got somethin’ planned for your wife and kid that they ain’t never gonna forget.” That somethin’ is clearly sexual debasement, and Mitchum — drawling, slavering, exposing his sick erotic magnetism — makes the threat as explicit as the early ’60s could allow. The New York Times tut-tutted that the movie was “one of those shockers that provokes disgust and regret.” Maybe, but the sexual tension is so hot and moist that, when Max corners Sam’s wife (Polly Bergen) in her kitchen, and she cracks open an egg on his bare chest, you half expect it to fry right there.
Next Henry Fonda as Frank