Max Cady (Robert Mitchum) is fresh out of jail following an eight-year bid for rape, and the first order of business is terrorizing lawyer Sam Bowden (Gregory Peck), who testified against him, along with Bowden’s wife (Polly Bergen) and teenage daughter (Lori Martin). J. Lee Thompson’s influential thriller, scored by Bernard Herrmann and shot by Sam Leavitt, features a performance from Mitchum that channels the menace and malice of his Harry Powell from The Night of the Hunter. Mitchum and Peck—both recast in supporting roles in Martin Scorsese’s 1991 remake—enact a mortal struggle that is enduringly gripping, harrowing and iconic.