The Night of the Hunter (1954) Other movies recommended for you
The Night of the Hunter(in Hollywood Movies) The Night of the Hunter (1954) - Download Movie for mobile in best quality 3gp and mp4 format. Also stream The Night of the Hunter on your mobile, tablets and ipads
Plot: Harry Powell marries and murders widows for their money, believing he is helping God do away with women who arouse men's carnal instincts. Arrested for auto theft, he shares a cell with condemned killer Ben Harper and tries to get him to reveal the whereabouts of the $10,000 he stole. Only Ben's nine-year-old son, John and four-year-old daughter, Pearl know the money is in Pearl's doll and they have sworn to their father to keep this secret. After Ben is executed, Preacher goes to Cresap's Landing to court Ben's widow, Willa. He overwhelms her with his Scripture quoting, sermons and hymns, and she agrees to marry him. On their wedding night he tells her they will never have sex because it is sinful. When the depressed, confused, guilty woman catches him trying to force Pearl to reveal the whereabouts of the money, she is resigned to her fate but the children manage to escape downriver, with Preacher following close behind. Runtime: 93 mins Release Date: 31 Dec 1954
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 <more>
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.
It's a shame Charle Laughton, the distinguished actor, didn't direct more films. As he clearly indicates with "The Night of the Hunter", he had a rare gift for guiding a production into achieving greatness. This film, which didn't receive the attention it got when it was released, has turned out to be something discerning movie fans saw from the start, a classic.Charles Laughton was basically a man of the theater, then came the movies, but he was at heart someone who was equally at ease working on the stage, or performing in front of a camera. Mr. Laughton undertook to <more>
direct this screen play written by another distinguished American writer and critic, James Agee, based on the David Grubb's novel.The result is a magnificent film about to what extreme a man will go in order to steal from two young and innocent children something their father had left for them in trust. The evil character of Harry Powell, a charlatan preacher taking advantage of poor and unsophisticated country folk, is one of the best creations in the novel. Harry Powell doesn't care what he must do to get his hands in the money. He marries the children's mother, a widow who was hoping for some happiness in her life, only as part of his overall scheme of things.The film is a poetic account of the story with great emphasis on the kindness the children receive at the end from Rachel Cooper, a woman with a heart of gold who took John and Pearl into her home when they needed it.Robert Mitchum is the evil Harry Powell. It's without a doubt, one of Mr. Mitchum's best screen work. As guided by the director, the actor gives a performance that still surprises whoever watches the film for the first time. Shelley Winters plays Willa, the widow who can't sense the danger connected to the man she marries. Lillian Gish is another luminous presence in the film because she projects no-nonsense kindness and sweetness toward the children she takes into her home.The film also is enhanced by the brilliant black and white cinematography by Stanley Carter. The film still shows a pristine look fifty years after it was released. Also, the musical score of Walter Shumann adds another layer in the film's texture."The Night of the Hunter" is ultimately a work of art that moves the viewer because of the tremendous work its director, Charles Laughton, gave to the movie.
A must-see for lovers of art cinema and suspense. Exquisite! (by Moxie)
One of the best suspense films ever made. Exquisite art direction: moody, scary, sometimes lyrically beautiful. Yet there are comical and even idyllic moments. Mitchum is EXCELLENT, especially in the cellar scene. Subtle, different; not just the same old ax-after-ax tear-'em-up blood-and-gore formula, but REAL suspense built from the personalities of the characters and the artful editing, music, art direction, and Charles Laughton's directing. Yet warm and lovely in parts. The cast's characterizations are excellent, even in minor roles, such as the "typical townspeople". <more>
You'll remember this one for a long time. Maybe not for kids under 12, as the frightening parts are too much like real life compared to run-of-the-mill horrendous movies and might leave unsettling memories.
I was lucky enough to see this in a cinema with a restored print. I had previously caught a snatch of it while channel surfing cable TV, and saw enough in about 30 seconds to realise that this was worth watching through if I got the chance.I could barely speak at the end of the film. Pauline Kael called it one of the scariest movies ever made, and she was absolutely right. Robert Mitchum becomes the embodiment of evil, and his pursuit of the children is so relentless, and so menacing, that it becomes impossible to believe that they can escape. The images are brilliant; there's a depth to <more>
black and white that colour somehow lacks, and it is used superbly here to create a sense of brooding terror.I didn't mind the homily at the end. Like everything else in the film, it is done with utter conviction, and this makes it work. Charles Laughton saw it as the indispensable conclusion to the film, and the strength of his belief makes it indispensable.The images are so much part of the film that it must lose a great deal on the small screen, although my minimal exposure to it in that environment showed that it was still well worth watching, but if you get a chance to see it in a cinema, jump at it.
Laughton used every cinematic device to tighten the tensions (by Nazi_Fighter_David)
When I think of the special terror that comes from the vulnerability of the helpless I am haunted by the shock-memory of two films "The Night of the Hunter" and "Cape Fear" which, by no means coincidentally, both starred Robert Mitchum Now there is an actor who would no doubt have attracted more critical garlands if he had not been so incredibly popular, if he had not intercepted such a variety of roles, and if a sardonic air of self-deprecation did not tend to obscure a high talent If he had decided to specialize in villains, he might even have come to out-play the <more>
great Bogart because, to the menace they both could share, Mitchum was able to add a genuinely frightening brutality...In 1955 Charles Laughton went round to the other side of the cameras to direct one and only one motion picture Laughton used every cinematic device of camera-angle, sound and lighting to tighten the tensions Mitchum played a psychopathic preacher with a restrained malice who married and murdered Shelley Winters for her money only to find that her young children had it, and he proceeded relentlessly to terrorize them Mitchum constructed a really superb characterization of the obsessed drifter, with "love" tattooed on one finger and "hate" on another to point his terrifying parables
Charles Laughton had only one choice to pay the role of psycho-reverend- conman for his adaption of Night of the Hunter and it was Robert Mitchum. When he's on the screen Mitchum fills it with malevolence.It's an unusual part for Mitchum. Usually he's terse and laconic in films, but as Harry Powell he's just full of words. Of course he doesn't mean anything he says, but he's just a fountain of speech in Night of the Hunter. Mitchum as he did later on in Thunder Road drew from his hobohemian background of the open road to get his characterization of the Reverend Harry <more>
Powell.Powell who marries and murders women after robbing them blind has more than 25 to his credit in the backwoods of the Ohio river country in West Virginia and Kentucky during the Depression years. But he gets arrested for stealing a car and gets 30 days in jail. Mitchum gets thrown in the same cell as Peter Graves who robbed a bank and killed two people. Graves before he's caught gave the loot to his son Billy Chapin with a promise not even to tell their mother because she's not too swift. How right he's proved to be.After Graves is hung, Mitchum finishes his sentence with the intention of wooing and marrying widow Shelley Winters. She falls for his line as does her little girl Sally Jane Bruce. But young Billy spots Mitchum for a phony from the gitgo.The children are in for a lot of heartbreak and tragedy before the film concludes. One of the things I like best about Night is the Hunter is the way Laughton graphically demonstrates the life and poverty of rural America during the Depression. The film is all seen through the eyes of the children as they begin their Huck Finn like odyssey down the Ohio river, escaping from Mitchum. According to Lee Server's biography of Mitchum, Laughton while great with the adults had no patience at all with the kids. After a while he let Mitchum actually direct Chapin and Bruce in their scenes.Lillian Gish gives one of her great performances in the sound era of her career as the farm woman who eventually takes in the kids as she does for a few others. She's there to be a contrast to Mitchum. Her actions speak her faith a lot louder than Mitchum's phony ramblings.Another role I like in this is that of Evelyn Varden. She and husband Don Beddoe employ Shelley Winters at their drug store and she's all full of concern in a showy pharisee like way for the kids. She's totally taken with Mitchum, but when he's unmasked as a phony her rage is something to see on screen.Sad that Charles Laughton didn't do more behind the camera than this one film. He and Robert Mitchum formed a mutual admiration society that lasted until Laughton passed on inn 1962. Still Night of the Hunter is a testament to that mutual admiration.
I guess Hollywood Wasn't Ready For It (by Theo Robertson)
In my review of DR NO I mentioned how audiences must have been shocked at seeing Sean Connery's anti-hero shooting people in the back . I'm sure they were just as shocked by THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER , but where as DR NO led to the most successful film franchise in the history of cinema this movie was something of a critical and commercial flop on its release . As with CITIZEN KANE on its release there seems to be a large amount of snobbery involved . Unlike today when even someone like Ben Affleck can win an Oscar for doing outside his field And some might ask what the hell is <more>
Affleck's field ? actors in those days were only expected to turn up , say their lines and go home , they surely weren't expected to do something like point a camera or make a classic movie , least of all a British leftist like Charles Laughton. Knives out for British leftists I'd say which may possibly explain why this haunting beautiful movie didn't get a single Oscar nomination , not even for obvious nominations like cinematography or director . It should also be mentioned that this movie deals with false prophets and in mid 1950s ultra conservative America no one but no one ever questioned men of the cloth in those days in case they faced accusations of being a commie agitator . This explains to a modern day audience the naive attitude of the characters towards Harry Powell in relation to a 2003 audience , times have changed both in cinema and the real world in the last 50 years and it's impossible to remember when was the last time we saw a Hollywood movie that actually had a good preacher NIGHT OF THE HUNTER seems to be best remembered for the scene where the camera follows the fisherman's point of view on the boat to the lake below , but there's several more scenes that deserve to be remembered like the opening sequence of the children's faces across the starscape ,or Robert Mitchum howling like a cartoon character after being shot or the children floating down the river and rabbits and turtles watching them pass . This last scene is very obviously studio bound but that's not a criticism , this is a very highly stylised movie who's technical aspects must have been as jaw dropping back then as LORD OF THE RINGS technical aspects wowed audiences 50 years later . The bitter irony now is that this would have picked up several Oscars -Regardless of its strengths ala BRAVEHEART - if it were made today simply because it was directed by an acto
Haunting, eerie, but unnecessarily theatrical (by moonspinner55)
Despite a fussy, overly-theatrical direction from actor-turned-filmmaker Charles Laughton, this adaptation of Davis Grubb's novel is a surly, scary gem. Robert Mitchum is commanding as a preacher on horseback who terrorizes his two stepchildren, a couple of very solemn, very wise kids who know the whereabouts of some hidden loot. There's a bit of stiffness among the non-professionals in the cast--also a treacly final tag--but much of Laughton's film is hypnotic, dream-like, detail and character-oriented, stylish to a fault and surprisingly moving. Mitchum gets the role of his <more>
career, tapping into that creepy/handsome, dangerous persona of his that is by turns comically overwrought and terrifying. ***1/2 from ****
Outstanding acting , fascinating camera-work and extraordinary direction by Charles Laughton (by ma-cortes)
This is a nightmarish tale of a psychopathic preacher named Harry Powell Robert Mitchum . Ben Harper Peter Graves commits killings and he hides the money , promising his sons -Pearl and John- silence about the secret place where it is stashed . While Harper is in prison meets lugubrious preacher Powell who has the words ¨Hate¨ tattooed on the knuckles of his left hand and ¨Love¨ on his right . One time condemned Ben to death penalty , Harry is freed from jail and goes Harper's home where lures Willa Shelley Winters and after he marries her in the hopes of getting the cache of <more>
money . Later on , the kids are protected by Rachel Lilian Gish when Powell threatens them , she's a valiant old lady , rifle wielding and Bible-reading .This is an ogre-tale in which the psychotic baddie is a bogus preacher. It's a rare film noir , a classic of bizarre beauty and extraordinary performances , totally unique in Hollywood history . A perfect collaboration between novel author : David Grubb , the great screenwriter : James Agee , the cameraman : Cortez and director Laughton . This unusual , odd picture is proceeded under point of sight the children , describing mysterious scenarios and has its moments of strange images , such as the magic journey across the river . Dutch-born American serial killer Harry Powers was the inspiration for the Preacher . Top-notch Robert Mitchum in the acting of his life along with ¨Cape fear¨, he said that Charles Laughton was his favorite director and indicated that this was his favorite of the movies in which he had acted . Magnificent Lilian Gish as old lady who defends the children wielding her shotgun . Special mention for James Gleason as an old drunk who lives on a cottage by the river . Stanley Cortez's masterly cinematography drew heavily from photographers Nicholas Musuraka and John Alton , noir cinema's masters , in its use of lights , darkness and shadows to originate apprehension , suspense , mood and fear . Splendid musical score by Walter Schumann with sensitive lyrics and songs creating a hypnotic atmosphere . This masterpiece was wonderfully directed by great actor Charles Laughton , his only film behind the cameras , however being a flop on original release and he was never again to be offered the film-making another movie . Rating : Over-the-top film , above average . Indispensable and essential watching.