Night Of The Hunter

5047-poster
release date August 26 1955
studio United Artists
director Charles Laughton
writer James Agee
starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish
rating NR
tagline The wedding night, the anticipation, the kiss, the knife, BUT ABOVE ALL... THE SUSPENSE!

Synopsis

The Night of the Hunter—incredibly, the only film the great actor Charles Laughton ever directed—is truly a stand-alone masterwork. A horror movie with qualities of a Grimm fairy tale, it stars a sublimely sinister Robert Mitchum as a traveling preacher named Harry Powell (he of the tattooed knuckles), whose nefarious motives for marrying a fragile widow, played by Shelley Winters, are uncovered by her terrified young children. Graced by images of eerie beauty and a sneaky sense of humor, this ethereal, expressionistic American classic—also featuring the contributions of actress Lillian Gish and writer James Agee—is cinema’s most eccentric rendering of the battle between good and evil.

Official Review

Often times, we think back to our childhood horror memories with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia as we remember our first viewings of staples like A Nightmare On Elm Street orHalloween. But, it’s those few odd ducks– ones that aren’t as mainstream – that really define our palate, and honestly, what would you rather talk about: Michael Myers, or how awesome you remember Chopping Mall being? Night Of The Hunter, while an all-time classic, is one of the more obscure films I picked up on when I was little, all thanks to – believe it or not – a book on horror movies that was at my elementary school’s library. Of course, watching the film at the tender age of ten (also procured from the same library), I had no grasp of the lyrical nature that occupied every frame of acclaimed actor Charles Laughton’s only turn in the director’s chair, nor did I have any idea how much of an influence D.W. Griffith had on the film, let alone who he was. The reason the it did stick with me, whether I realized it at the time or not, was that it’s a southern gothic horror film made from the childrens’ perspective and, in turn, makes it much more identifiable and terrifying to a kid; namely, me. Fifteen years later, it appeals to me on a different level, and that’s really the strength of the film; your perspective and appreciation of it changes with age, something many directors wish their feature could accomplish. …Read More

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