Night of the Hunter
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When a father’s last words to his young son and daughter concern the secret location of a stolen fortune, psychotic preacher Harry Powell decides to do whatever it takes – even kill – to learn its hiding place. When he marries their fragile widowed mother, the children realize their only chance for survival lies on the run. This 1955 noir classic is now considered to be one of the scariest films of all-time. “Chilling.” (Roger Ebert) “Shocking.” (The Village Voice) “A terrifying masterpiece.” (TV Guide)
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 56
- Fresh: 55
- Rotten: 1
- Average Rating: 8.9/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: All this has been crisply compacted into clear screen drama by the late James Agee and it is put forth under the direction of Mr. Laughton in stark, rigid visual terms.
Fresh: It is a garish, unbelievable but fairly exciting nightmare.
Fresh: Though purely homegrown, Hunter contains no social critique -- the issues are elemental, the morality biblical, the trials Homeric. In terms of cinematic texture, it's a hound from hell.
Fresh: Laughton creates terrific tension between Mitchum and his prey, turning the preacher into a bloodthirsty wolf and Willa's children into tender lambs.
Truly an amazingly wonderful film
The Night of the Hunter is my very favorite film. I watch it at least twice a year and each time am captivated and deeply effected and moved. It's such an inventive film that really doesn't fit into any particular genre. It's innocent, terrifying, expressive and the dialogue and screen writing is phenomenal! Charles Laughton was evidently a supremely talented film director. It's sad that this film was his first and last, but I'm so grateful for this classic that he gave to the world. The wholesome honesty and truth of this movie makes me cry every time I watch it. Every aspect of the film is wonderful. The characters are insightful and their conflicts fascinating, wonderful haunting soundtrack, excellent pacing, imaginative ideas. The acting style, while to me is absolutely perfect, is very different from modern styles, so might seem over the top to some. Personally, I love this kind of super expressive, unusual film making. I own the dvd, which sadly isn't letterboxed, so it's nice to read that this downloadable version is widescreen!
This Is The Real Deal: Genius
I couldn’t agree more with the first reviewer. However, I would add the tremendous contribution of James Agee’s adaptation of the Davis Grubb novel. Agee also wrote Let US Now Praise Famous Men about depression share croppers in the American South and Walker Evans did the photography. Many of Walker Evan’s compositions are duplicated in the cinematography. All in all, this is a tremendous work of art.
This movie is absolutely stunning. I was first introduced to it b my genius 8th grade film teacher, and the beautiful direction of CHarles Laughton combined with the brilliant acting of Robert Mitchum Shelley Winters and Lillian Gish made this one of the greatest films ever made no argument.
- Genre: Drama
- Released: 1955
- © 1955 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All rights reserved.