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From: Who Else!
Date: 01 Jun 2000
Review: Night of the Hunter, The
The Night of the Hunter is a hidden 1955 classic with the directorial debut and swansong of esteemed actor Charles Laughton. Ben Harper has committed murder for $10,000. He hides the money and makes daughter Pearl and son John promise not to tell anyone where it is hidden, not even their mother Willa. In prison and awaiting hanging, Ben meets his cellmate, the Preacher, who tries unsuccessfully to get Ben to reveal where he stashed the money. When Preacher is released from prison he heads for the Harper home, intent on finding the money. Preacher charms Willa and wins her hand in marriage, only to kill her when she learns what he is really like. With only Pearl and John separating him from a small fortune, the Preacher unleashes the full force of his true, evil self. From a selfish standpoint I would say that this is definitively MY type of movie; Poor reviews and box office showing, Black and White, many camera angles and techniques and a suspense story. I would credit Charles Laughton for the extensive symbolism using animals and scripture quotations. Lillian Gish and Robert Mitchum were both mesmerizing in their performances. I can only guess that the reason this film did so poorly at the box office was that it was slightly brutal for its time ( banned in Finland ! ). The murder aspect and children used extensively in the film may contribute to that opinion. This is the type of movie when you see for the 1st time, that you feel you have found a gem ! There is so much depth to this filom that you could easily watch it multiple times. I am so glad I saw this movie ! I think I will recommend that ANY true movie buffs need this in their collection.
4 ½ stars out of 5
Gary or www.dvdbeaver.com