The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Not Rated   |    |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir


The Night of the Hunter (1955) Poster

A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid the $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery.


8/10
83,754

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Awards

2 wins.

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


23 September 2002 | paulhjrickards
10
| Sleep, Lit'le ones, sleep...
I still hear the lullaby singing sweetly in my head, like a hazy, haunting dream that won't go away.

From the opening scene of the beautiful Lillian Gish and her children, watching over the world in a starry sky, this movie just sinks you into a mesmeric fairy tale land. The camera takes us down in one sweeping move to a scene of children playing, a hot sunny day, and right to the feet of a murder victim. And that sweet music turns on us like a twisted nightmare as the scene chases after a car speeding along a country road to find one of movies worst villains.

Charles Laughton, in sadly his one and only stab at directing, created a masterpiece of horror with Night of the Hunter. The moments of sugar coated sweetness only make this movie even more disturbing as you wonder how the two can inhabit the same world.

Mitchum is terrifying. More-so in a town full of simple folk ready to match him up with the local widow who needs a father for her lit'le n's. Its like he's walked into the middle of a Frank Capra movie and he's going to do what he wants to.

This is not just a great horror movie, but an artist achievement to rival Welles' Kane. The river scene is one of many moments of pure visual splendor. And that sound track just keeps drifting alone, as if trying to coax you into slumber, till the singing madman of your nightmares comes over the hill, relentless. "Chil-dren, Come along now"

You don't watch this movie, it watches you. ...Hush, Lit'le ones, Hush.

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Details

Release Date:

27 July 1955

Language

English


Country of Origin

USA

Filming Locations

USA

Box Office

Budget:

$795,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,001

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