The Movie: The Wrong Man (1956)
What Is It?: Although it explores the director’s pet topic to the point that its title basically translates to Generic Alfred Hitchcock Movie, The Wrong Man is one of Hitch’s more unusual films because it is based on a true story and manages more sympathy for its characters than his usual brilliant exercises in style do. Really, there are no more heartbreaking people in the Hitchcock cannon than Manny Balestrero (Henry Fonda), a bass player wrongfully accused of being a “hold up man” (I can’t help but find that designation hilarious and wonder if there is a less awkward term for someone who holds places up), and his wife Rose (Vera Miles), who loses her grip on reality while going through the ordeal of her husband’s incarceration and trial. Wrenching stuff.
Why Today?: On this day in 1909, the real Manny Balestrero is born.