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4.3
7,625 Ratings

The Night of the Hunter

Directed by Charles Laughton
United States, 1955
Crime, Drama, Film noir

Synopsis

An expressionist classic about a corrupt preacher who holds nefarious motives for marrying an unsuspecting widow. Her terrified young children, soon become savvy to this strangers act.

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The Night of the Hunter Directed by Charles Laughton
If it ranks as Mitchum’s broadest, showiest performance, it was no doubt egged on by his director, the brilliant Charles Laughton, who knew a thing or two about the deliciousness of pure ham. His only match in that film is the magnificent black-and-white cinematography of Stanley Cortez.
September 29, 2017
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It is the power of the image (as much that of dialogue or setting) that stays with us. What could have been a familiar scene—two criminals sharing a prison cell, one attempting to pry a secret out of the other—becomes something wholly new and shocking as the preacher’s head appears—upside down!—when he leans over from the top bunk to better hear what Ben is mumbling in his sleep.
June 01, 2016
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A simple villain becomes a necessary force, just like the sentimentality of townsfolk becomes violence, the film’s Expressionist shadowplay (shot by Stanley Cortez) becomes the American South, and so on, until the end of days. It’s a movie to watch, maybe, once every decade, as one’s face changes, and doesn’t.
April 20, 2016
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