The Night of the Hunter

Synopsis: The Night Of The Hunter – incredibly, the only film the great actor Charles Laughton ever directed – is truly a standalone masterwork. A horror movie with qualities of a Grimm fairy tale, it stars a sublimely sinister Robert Mitchum (Cape Fear, The Friends Of Eddie Coyle) as a traveling preacher named Harry Powell (he of the tattooed knuckles), whose nefarious motives for marrying a fragile widow, played by Shelley Winters (A Place In The Sun, The Diary Of Anne Frank) 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 (Intolerance, Duel In The Sun) and writer James Agee – is cinema’s quirkiest rendering of the battle between good and evil.

The Night of the Hunter 7.5

Very good story mired by over-the-top performances. I know it’s considered a classic, but I don’t really know why; it’s good, but not exceptional. Will need to read up on this one – perhaps context makes a difference?

Nota bene: of note are the shots of wildlife, which, for some reason jumped off the screen with vibrancy.

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