The Night of the Hunter

The Night of the Hunter

DVD - 2000
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A psychotic self-styled preacher marries and murders a young widow for her money. He then pursues her children to get his hands on the money, only to meet his match in the form of a saintly farm woman

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whatcomhillwalker
Oct 01, 2018

A bizarre little black and white movie with interesting actors and a different plot for the era it was made.

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lindy919
Apr 18, 2018

This monumentally horrendous movie is set in depression era Ohio/Kentucky - a time when children were property (notice how many times Johnny is called "the boy", even by his own mother); religious idiocy ran rampant; and women were meant to take care of the home and shut up. I really hate to think that such a time really existed in America.
Combine all this with it being filmed in 1955 - a time when kids weren't expected to be able to act; Keystone cops couldn't catch a criminal unless they found him over a body with a bloody mallet in their hand; and women were meant to take care of the home and shut up.
I hated every scene of this movie including but not limited to: parents believing a creepy, obviously shady, vagabond preacher over their own children (this happens twice, to two different generations, within the same family); breaking into song for no reason; Robert Mitchum getting shot and dancing around like Daffy Duck just landed on a cactus; a 14-year old "falling in love" with a 50-year old man; and a biblical reference every 15 seconds.
An updated, good version of this needs to be made, sans all the nonsense.

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nordicleather
Feb 25, 2018

The Night of the Hunter was under appreciated by the general public & most critics when it was first released in 1955 as it was ahead of its time. The Night of the Hunter is classic film Noir. Be sure to see disc two of the set which contains the directing prompts of Charles Laughton the famous actor who directed this movie. Disc one of the set I got was in poor condition. Hopefully the library has more copies.

Charles Laughton's homage to German Expressionist film, featuring great performances by Robert Mitchum and Shelley Winters, plus a James Agee screenplay. Worth checking out if you have never seen it.

o
OMack
Aug 12, 2017

The suspense in this movie is legendary! This is R. Mitchum in his prime...his Creepy Prime.

The plot makes for a great movie and the fact that the main characters are kids, makes this more realistic/terrifying. Favorite scene is the kids on the water and Mitchum's horrifying wails in the night. This is a DEFINITE CLASSIC and I would recommend this to anyone who's a Mitchum fan or wants to see a suspenseful movie. This would be a good one for a date (if both parties have a reasonable attention span).

P.S - If for some-odd reason you haven't seen (the original) Cape Fear -- Gotta check it out after seeing this movie (make sure you get the one with Robert Mitchum)

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grammaE
Dec 05, 2015

Excellent thriller. Intense for me. Loved it. Probably a PG-13 rating, clean, no bad language, but scary. Loved the scene set-ups. Someone should do a remake!

h
hellspawn7
Aug 08, 2015

♫ Leeeaning on the everlaaaasting arrrms. ♫

First time I've watched Night of the Hunter.

This film is what you called messed up. For a 1955 movie... I mean audiences must have reacted like this was Seven back in the day.

Charles Laughton. I only know him from his excellent performance in Witness for the Prosecution. Well he made this movie, too. And this film only. DAMN that's a shame! Because if he turned out another 10 movies as good as this, he'd be hailed as one of the great directors. Come to think of it, even with this movie he IS hailed as a great filmmaker.

This movie is just one of those classics. It's a great thriller, great performances. Always nice when acting in an older movie doesn't come off as dated. It's surprisingly funny and it's something else to look at.

And you have one of THE great movie villains.

The only bad thing about this movie is that it's the only movie Charles Laughton ever directed. First time at bat.... and he knocks it out of the park. Even Kubrick and Scorsese had to make a few movies to iron the kinks out.

But The Night of The Hunter is pretty much perfect.

s
scruff
Feb 27, 2015

This is a film you're supposed to see if you're a "serious" film buff. Having just watched it, I understand why. It's got some stunning photography, great art direction, and uses shadow and light in a dazzling manner. Simply put, it looks great. But that's where its charms ended for me. I understand that it's a fable, and therefore some archetype characters are to be expected, but this is a pretty big slice of ham and cheese! It's entertaining, for sure, but not an effective "thriller." It's too sappy, and the performances are too hammy for it to pull off any sense of dread. Worth a viewing for the beautiful photography and direction anyway.

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Nursebob
Dec 05, 2014

In the depression-era south a fanatically religious psychopath disguised as a wandering minister drifts from town to town preying on lonely widows and slitting the throats of any women who arouse his deep-seated sexual rage. While serving a thirty-day sentence for theft however, the “Reverend” Harry Powell shares a cell with a death row inmate who, unbeknownst to his wife, has hidden a small fortune in stolen cash somewhere on the family farm. Obsessed with finding the money, Powell immediately sets his sights on the newly widowed Willa Harper and her two children, John and Pearl. From a desperate trek down a moonlit river to a sinister silhouette splayed across a bedroom wall, rarely has the use of light and shadow played such a key element in the telling of a story. In fact the dichotomy of light and darkness forms the very basis of director Charles Laughton’s gripping fable which examines the endless struggle between innocence and evil (appropriately enough, Powell has the words “hate” and “love” tattooed on the fingers of opposing hands). Filmed in striking shades of B&W against fanciful backdrops of starry skies, fairy tale houses, and forest familiars, Night of the Hunter has the aura of a dark fantasy told through the eyes of a child in which adults, their motives unfathomable, can’t always be trusted to do what is right. Although some may be put off by the film’s stagey sets and theatrical presentation (a cold-blooded murder is filmed as a chilling pas de deux), one must remember that Laughton has reimagined the story of Hansel and Gretel complete with deep dark woods and a precarious path to grandmother’s house. This is a grim bedtime story expertly directed and featuring a stellar cast which pits a baleful Robert Mitchum as the bible-spouting madman against an angelic Lilian Gish as the children’s last refuge. Brilliant!

v
VRMurphy
Feb 03, 2014

Well worth watching, but I suggest you take an academic viewpoint, rather than "hey, let's watch a movie!". The art direction is outstanding, in presenting a very flat, black & white background against which the actors depict archetypes - it's a very dark fable. Billy Chapin, as the young boy, gives an outstanding performance, and Mitchum, of course, is quite chilling. Lillian Gish is terrific.

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aaa5756 Apr 15, 2013

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King, Jr

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