This 1962 thriller is better than the Scorsese remake—above all for Robert Mitchum’s chilling performance as a vengeful ex-con and an overall brute force in the crude story line—though it’s arguably still some distance from deserving its reputation as a classic. Stolid Gregory Peck plays the family man, and Polly Bergen is his menaced wife; Bernard Herrmann wrote the score. Based on John D. MacDonald’s novel The Executioners; with Martin Balsam, Telly Savalas, and Barrie Chase. J. Lee Thompson directed.
1 hour 45 min • 1962