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Cape Fear– Two Versions and Two Visions Separated by Thirty Years

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This essay examines the changes between 1962 and 1991 that occurred in the context within which the two very different versions of Cape Fear appeared. These two versions of the story of a threatened lawyer are emblematic of an altered perspective on law. The essay highlights the tension between art’s role as a reflector of society and its values and its role shaping social views. The inference, from the different portrayals of Sam Bowden, that there has been a systematic decline in the lawyer’s status and public esteem is not, however, borne out in the cinematic field. The situation has become one of moral ambiguity with the lawyer playing a more ambivalent role in society.

Document Type: Original Article


Publication date: 2001-03-01

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