The Night of the Hunter Reviews
Charles Laughton directs the film effectively with a lot of technical expertise and he's the real star here. Mitchum is good, but not as great as the critics claim to be. The film is not disturbing, neither is its central character because you always get a predictable PG-13 feel from it. It did have a good story that just didn't rely too much on cliches.
Frighteningly powerful film with arguably Mitchum's finest performance as "priest" who lies his way to get what he wants, he even stalks his own step-children to get his hands on filthy money. Stark, haunting
Simply put, if you're an aspiring filmmaker looking to direct a thriller or a suspense tale, don't look to books or articles or pontification, but rather seek out two things as the models for how to properly tell a suspense story: the films of Alfred Hitchcock, and the film (singular) of Charles Laughton. This is a film so dark and strange that the whole affair's overall mystery rivals even that of its own antagonist. See it.