Actually based on a book that was a loose interpretation of real crimes performed by an actual nutbag.
In its defence, some shots are visually very, very striking and I imagine some scenes were genuinely shocking 59 years ago, but the music's shit, the editing's arse, the acting really is cock. Robert Mitchum's performance as Max Cady in the original Cape Fear, seven years after this was made, was much scarier and worthy of the praise this film undeservedly receives.
M.C. Escher bunk beds.
"What you reading?"
"Elbow Deep magazine."
Known in the wrestling world as the 'Yewtree Lunge'.