Thursday 9 April: The Night of the Hunter (12)

USA  –  Crime/Film-Noir  –  Year: 1955  –  Running time: 93 mins

Audience feedback: Rating: ★★★★½ (4.33 from 31 comments)

  • The Night Of The Hunter‘Excellent’: 17 votes
  • ‘Very Good’: 7 votes
  • ‘Good’: 5 votes
  • ‘Satisfactory’: 1 vote
  • ‘Poor’: 0 votes
  • + 1 comment without a grade

Robert Mitchum is the heart of darkness as Rev Harry Powell, preacher and killer of women, whose lust for gold leads him to Pearl Harper and her brother John, guardians of their jailed father’s stolen loot. Driven by the starkness of German expressionism and shot by legendary Stanley Cortez, Laughton’s film is one of the great film noir classics. Every shot is a masterclass in contrast: looming blacks and piercing whites. It’s the most haunted and dreamlike of all American films, a gothic backwoods ramble with the Devil at its heels.

A perennially unsettling masterpiece from which modern chillers could learn much.
Mark Kermode, Observer

Director: Charles Laughton 

Read about this film in IMDB

CFC Film notes (ed. Nigel Best)
Audience feedback
Discussion forum

Additional reading:
The Observer (Mark Kermode)

Theatrical trailer:

One thought on “Thursday 9 April: The Night of the Hunter (12)

  1. A classic it may be but it has not stood the test of time in my view. Overly melodramatic with ponderous mood music and hammy acting. The cinematic techniques seem rather crude even for 1955;the switch knife flicking open as a symbol of arousal for example. The window shadow is implausible as shown. Mitchum rather than being sinister seems comic and pathetic. Viewers always knew what was coming.If this were the only example of Laughtons directorial talents I would have advised he kept the acting day job.

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