Abstract of “The Wrong Man: A Look at Hitchcock’s Themes and Fidelity to Truth”

The Wrong Man is one of Alfred Hitchcock’s few films based on a true story; it follows Manny Balestrero, and innocent man wrongly accused of a series of robberies.  The techniques and themes Hitchcock utilized create an atmosphere of reality for the audience.  Hitchcock used several of the real life locations and participants, a simple score along with bare black and white cinematography to simplify the story.  Hollywood films typically glamorize life, but The Wrong Man produced themes that instead portray the hardships and fear associated with false incrimination.  Themes like the innocent man attempting to clear his name, the corruption and the power authority and legal system have over its subjects, economic oppression (that eventually leads to not only the disintegration of the ties between family members as well as Manny himself), and the randomness of the ordeal.  Hitchcock effectively produced a horrifyingly real film out of essentially nothing more than true events; a feat for thriller films even today.

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