The Night of the Hunter - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Night of the Hunter Reviews

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June 28, 2016
Nicely shot and executed with a disturbing villain.
June 2, 2016
Unusually dark for a 50's film where kids are playing such a large part. The story is quite predictable but it's still quite good; Robert Mitcham is perfectly cast.
May 23, 2016
One of the finest pieces of American cinema ever made. If you haven't seen it, move it to the top of your list.
April 27, 2016
The Night of the Hunter (1955) ????
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
March 19, 2016
The traces of german expressionism in some of the shots/nightmarish quality when from the point of view of the children is cool, as well as the shots set up like a storybook. I didn't find it at all scary though. I feel like it was technically quite good and inventive, but fell slightly flat and didn't pull all the way through with what it was going for.
½ March 19, 2016
While not personally scared, I did enjoy the elements of German expressionism.
March 16, 2016
This story is real good and its easy to see why its considered a classic but this movie desperately needs a remake suited for its dark and biblical subject matter.
½ March 15, 2016
An intriguing oddity, Night Of The Hunter was the only movie directed by Charles Laughton. The Depression era is a perfect backdrop for this moral fable and fairytale combined. The story was adapted for the screen by James Agee (The African Queen), and Stanley Cortez's superb cinematography heightens its overheated, Southern Gothic style. Robert Mitchum is at his most menacing as the corrupt preacher, Shelley Winters is his victim, and Billy Chapin and Sally Jane Bruce play the children left behind. Their salvation comes with the appearance of Lillian Gish, an actress who for me defines what cinema is all about.
March 6, 2016
When you watch a film directed by a Welles or a Hitchcock, you know that you're about to see a great film. THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER is a very different story. This is a first-time director, child actors, a scenery-chewing villain, pre-established source material, and a backwoods setting. In many cases throughout film history these elements have amounted to something strange or just downright repugnant. Not here. Here, the combined efforts of the great Charles Laughton, the great Robert Mitchum, and the great Stanley Cortez all add up to a film so good that it's difficult to compliment it without simply regurgitating what other, more qualified people have already said before.

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.
½ February 25, 2016
The Night of the Hunter is astounding. It's a frightening, almost dream-like fairy-tale brought to life by the absolutely gorgeous cinematography and Robert Mitchum's terrifying portrayal of a wolf in sheep's clothing.
February 14, 2016
I am going against the grain here but I thought this movie was a big disappointment. I blame Laughton's direction primarily, but the script was also to blame. All of the characters in this movie were extremely one dimensional, which was compounded by them breaking the fourth wall (often as they talked to God but it was really the audience) to explain their motives and feelings in the most simple and straightforward manner. Everything they did or wanted to do was projected so far in advance, and was usually so simple minded and obvious anyway, I felt a constant feeling of frustration as the movie progressed. The audience is never given a chance to think for themselves. Laughton's direction is heavy handed, with overdone set pieces and film school symbolism. The entire film lacks a sense of continuity, as if it were assembled in the cutting room from isolated takes where the director was feeding the actor's the lines as he wanted them to be read. I am a big fan of Mitchum, but here he feels stiff and unconvincing. Who would believe him for a second? The plot wouldn't move forward one inch unless it weren't filled with inane characters constantly making dumb decisions. If you want to see Mitchum evoke some convincing menace, rent Cape Fear.
February 4, 2016
A gorgeously photographed clunker. Its "classic" status baffles me. Some good sequences, though.
January 26, 2016
The cinematography is masterful especially for its time, but the film lacks the suspense I was looking for. It's overacted by Robert Mitchum, although he will creep you out. I think it's a little overrated, but it is a decent film to see once. (First and only viewing - 1/4/2015)
January 21, 2016
With fully rounded characters as part of the suspenseful scripting and wonderful camerawork, this is a tale that looks at the what-ifs of deceipt and fraud through preachers, even if it doesn't come with the most timeless filmmaking.
½ January 3, 2016
With a intense scary performance comes a cry interesting dark film directed well and acted great comes a movie that you leaves feeling very not sure when you finish watching it
December 28, 2015
El actor Charles Laughton tan solo dirigió una película en su vida y esa cinta, llamada "The Night Of The Hunter" es, definitivamente, una de las mejores en la historia del cine. Un cuento hermoso onírico, simbólico y a la vez aterrador con un Robert Mitchum amenazante y lleno de odio y una Lilian Gish dispuesta a defender la inocencia y el amor a toda costa. Una fotografía de Stanley Cortez fuera de serie enmarca este cuento gótico norteamericano.
½ December 28, 2015
Interesante aunque no me resulta fascinante.
December 25, 2015
It's a hard world for little things.

A jailed religious fanatic is told the tale from his prison mate of $10,000 he robbed and hid that only his children know where it remains. The inmate dies and the fanatic is released from prison. He hunts down the widow of the inmate and marries her. The religious fanatic will stop at nothing to convince the children to tell him where the money is.

"I'm a strong tree with branches for many birds."

Charles Loughton, director of The Man on the Eiffel Tower, delivers The Night of the Hunter. The storyline for this picture is very compelling with numerous thrilling aspects. The acting is mesmerizing and the script is so clever and intense. I adored how the story came together and Robert Mitchum was brilliant as the main character. The cast also includes Shelley Winter, Peter Graves, Billy Chapin, Lillian Gish, James Gleason, and Don Beddoe.

"I'm the one your mother believes."

I came across this some time ago on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and had to DVR it. I loved how intense and consistent Mitchum was throughout the movie. There were some chances for some awkward moments, but Mitchum's character twisted and turned like a fish. I strongly recommend seeing this underrated classic.

"You poor, disgusting, little wretch."

Grade: A
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