The Night of the Hunter (1955)


Director: Charles Laughton

Writers: James Agee, from the novel by Davis Grubb

Stars: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, James Gleason, Evelyn Varden, Peter Graves

A truly haunting film in which a brother and sister are imperiled by a psychopathic predator who wants to retrieve the money hidden by their late father. 

The terror of the situation derives from their total helplessness as Robert Mitchum, expertly preying on their mother's weaknesses, insinuates himself into their home.


Shelley Winter's fate provides one of the most extraordinary shots I have ever seen in a film.


Ultimately, the children are forced to flee their home, and their nightmarish journey downriver is very well shot. 

Throughout the film, the children are at the mercy of their surroundings.


The three parts of the story (the destruction of the children's home, their flight, and their rescue) each have a distinctive look and feel.


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