The Night of the Hunter

The Night of the Hunter

Blu-ray Disc - 2014 | Two-disc Blu-ray special edition.
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A demented preacher stalks two young children, a brother and sister, because he is certain they know where their late bank-robbing father hid his money. Graced by images of eerie beauty and a sneaky sense of humor, this is an ethereal, expressionistic American classic.


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Apr 26, 2020

Just an astonishingly good film. Robert Mitchum in a risky, exceptional performance. Cinematography that is another character in the movie. Unfortunately it's Charles Laughton's only directorial outing but if you only have one to your name, this is the one. A must see for anyone who is a student of film.

Alternate title: Preacher From the Black Lagoon.

JCLMattC Feb 19, 2020

Another five-star criterion film starring Robert Mitchum. This one pits him against two wily children and gives him one of the most stirring monologues about love and hate ever crafted in a film.

Oct 21, 2019

Oh dear! After British Bad Guy actor Mark Strong said he loved this and said it was his favorite horror I was SO glad the library had a copy. Sigh...the writing is below average (even for 1955) the acting is mediocre and I just couldn't stay with it.

May 20, 2019

One of the best films ever made.

May 20, 2019

The imperfections and amazing aspects of this film balance out nicely to make for one of my favorite films. A true classic that is not without its blemishes, but it is so much fun and easy to get immersed in the world that is created.

Apr 18, 2019

This potentially stellar film suffers from schizophrenia and a poor performance by its leading man. The film bounces back and forth between realist and impressionist styles, without seeming awareness of why this is happening. If there was a clear use of the impressionist style (stark landscapes, heavily shadowed lighting and so forth) with a clear purpose or role in the film, the entire film would stand as a monumental and visionary contribution to the art form. Instead, the use of impressionist style in the film stands as a arty and intriguing visual effect which distracts from the film. The other glaring weakness in the film is Robert Mitchum's performance. In one of the special features, Mitchum's performance is described as a deliberate collaboration with the Director to have Mitchum give a Brechtian performance where his is "acting within the quotes." Unfortunately, this decision turns the menacing Powell into a caricature to be laughed at, not a menace to be feared. Terrance Rafferty disagrees, saying the performance between buffoonish and menacing is "startling" (in a good way) and treats "evil with the indignity it deserves." For its time, this is clearly a landmark film that opened to door incredible, broken and brooding lead characters in dark and brooding films that followed. But to a modern audience, this film will feel dated, hollow and very lacking. Some of this can likely be blamed on the script (nearly 300 pages originally, trimmed to the expected 100 or so) - as the children flee, and Powell magically keeps showing up with no understanding of how he kept finding them and so forth. Too many plot holes to discuss in detail. In the end, this is a landmark film that does deserve the Criterion Collection treatment. If you are a modern viewer who wants to be entertained, and not participate in a lesson on film history, you might want to steer clear of this.

Oct 01, 2018

A bizarre little black and white movie with interesting actors and a different plot for the era it was made.

Apr 18, 2018

This monumentally horrendous movie is set in depression era Ohio/Kentucky - a time when children were property (notice how many times Johnny is called "the boy", even by his own mother); religious idiocy ran rampant; and women were meant to take care of the home and shut up. I really hate to think that such a time really existed in America.
Combine all this with it being filmed in 1955 - a time when kids weren't expected to be able to act; Keystone cops couldn't catch a criminal unless they found him over a body with a bloody mallet in their hand; and women were meant to take care of the home and shut up.
I hated every scene of this movie including but not limited to: parents believing a creepy, obviously shady, vagabond preacher over their own children (this happens twice, to two different generations, within the same family); breaking into song for no reason; Robert Mitchum getting shot and dancing around like Daffy Duck just landed on a cactus; a 14-year old "falling in love" with a 50-year old man; and a biblical reference every 15 seconds.
An updated, good version of this needs to be made, sans all the nonsense.

Feb 25, 2018

The Night of the Hunter was under appreciated by the general public & most critics when it was first released in 1955 as it was ahead of its time. The Night of the Hunter is classic film Noir. Be sure to see disc two of the set which contains the directing prompts of Charles Laughton the famous actor who directed this movie. Disc one of the set I got was in poor condition. Hopefully the library has more copies.

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aaa5756 Apr 15, 2013

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King, Jr


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