Friday, 13 May 2016

Film Friday: The Night of the Hunter 1955

Today on Film Friday, Robert Mitchum. 
(yes please, I've been a very good girl) 

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

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The Night of the Hunter is a 1955 American film noir directed by Charles Laughton and starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters and Lillian Gish.

Based on the 1953 novel of the same name by Davis Grubb, it was adapted for the screen by James Agee and Laughton. The plot focuses on a corrupt reverend-turned-serial killer who attempts to charm an unsuspecting widow and steal $10,000 hidden by her executed husband.

 The film's lyrical and expressionistic style with its leaning on the silent era sets it apart from other Hollywood films of the 1940s and 1950s.  It has influenced later directors such as David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, Terrence Malick, Jim Jarmusch, Spike Lee, and the Coen brothers.

In 1992, The Night of the Hunter was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. 


Influential film magazine Cahiers du cinéma selected The Night of the Hunter in 2008 as the second-best film of all time, behind Citizen Kane.

Robert Mitchum was very eager for the part of the preacher. When he auditioned, a moment that particularly impressed Charles Laughton was when Laughton described the character as "a diabolical shit." Mitchum promptly answered, "Present!" 

Dutch-born American serial killer Harry Powers (nee Herman Drenth) was the inspiration for the Preacher. He was hanged in 1932 for the murder of two widows and three children in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

How I love this picture.

Later on in life, Robert Mitchum, who was usually indifferent to such matters, said that Charles Laughton was his favorite director and indicated that this was his favorite of the movies in which he had acted. 

Did you know ... one day Robert Mitchum arrived on set drunk and producer Paul Gregory told him that he was in no condition to work that day. Mitchum took umbrage to this and walked over to the producer's Cadillac, opened the front door and urinated on the front seat.  

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Chiiiiilllll - dren ....
Have you seen this film?
Did you like it?
Do you like Robert Mitchum? Or is it just me that goes giddy over him?

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Previous Film Fridays:


1939 - Gunga Din
           Gone With the Wind


1951 - Scrooge
1953 - The Wild One
           Roman Holiday
1955 - The Ladykillers 


  1. I haven't seen this one, Melanie, which is strange as my ex boyfriend was a film buff who was really into film noir. On Halloween, before it went commercial, we hosted a film party showing exactly this kind of film. xxx

  2. I've not seen this one but it looks very cool - with a real edge to it too. Will definitely have to find this and give it a watch. I'm seriously lacking in black and white, film noir knowledge! - Tasha

  3. Not seen it OR heard of him! Strange eh!! Sounds very creepy though!

  4. Big Robert Mitchum fan, but alas, I have yet to see this spine tinging honour film. Definitely one to try and watch - perhaps come the Halloween season. :)

    Oodles of hugs,
    ♥ Jessica


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