The Night of the Hunter - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Night of the Hunter Reviews

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September 12, 2015
Robert Mitchum is quite scary in this film. Laughton's direction is rather skillful.
August 7, 2015
I must have watched this movie at least a dozen times. It is wholly unique - its tone blackly comic, the storyline a hybrid of Grimm's fairytale and pursuit thriller. It is our loss that Laughton never directed another movie: with just this one work he proved he was one of the greats.
August 6, 2015
Robert Mitchum gives one of his greatest performances as Reverend Harry Powell, a self appointed preacher, who travels to a small town in search of his executed cellmate's stash of cash, under the impression that his two young children know it's whereabouts.
But the film's melodramatic plot plays second fiddle to some beautifully shot images. Director Charles Laughton & cinematographer Stanley Cortez incorporates a luminosity that recalls shots commonly found in great films from the silent era.
The novel and film draw on the true story of Harry Powers, hanged in 1932 for the murders of two widows and three children in Clarksburg, West Virginia. The film's lyric and expressionistic style with its leaning on the silent era sets it apart from other Hollywood films of the 1940s and 1950s, and it has influenced later directors such as David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, 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. The influential film magazine Cahiers du cinéma selected The Night of the Hunter in 2008 as the second-best film of all time, only behind Citizen Kane.
This independently produced film was sadly promoted the wrong way by distributers United Artists, the film was a commercial flop which put off actor Charles Laughton from directing again.
½ July 24, 2015
With simply outstanding cinematography that is one of the best in film history, beautiful scenery, groundbreaking approach with dark tone and story, excellent tone ranging from thrilling and dangerous to heartwarming and touching, terrific characters, absolutely amazing directorial work from Charles Laughton and powerhouse performances from excellent Robert Mitchum and wonderful Lillian Gish who absolutely shines in one of her later roles, The Night of the Hunter has some too over-the-top scenes, too simplistic story and the first half is inferior to the second, but it is also a beautiful homage to silent movies, a visual masterpiece and one of the finest thrillers of the time as well as one of the best directorial debuts and one of the best-looking films of all time.
½ July 9, 2015
Great movie with great acting, even though it was unrealistic. It seemed like the hunter knew exactly where the kids were the entire movie. But, it was very suspenseful and filled with clever acting, especially from the hunter.
½ May 28, 2015
Charles Laughton employs some badass imagery in his only directorial effort "The Night Of The Hunter," a fitting love letter to German Expressionism and Aesop's fables on good and evil.
½ May 23, 2015
Excellent stuff. Mitchum steals all the scene. Very compatible mix of the Southern Gothic and German Expressionism sensibilities. Certain images seem directly taken from the original Nosferatu, as well as scenes from Metropolis. Highly recommended.
April 18, 2015
Night of the Hunter is a dark and haunting look at good and evil and one of the greatest horror tales ever told on the silver screen with Robert Mitchum's dark and disturbing performance as child-hunting preacher Harry Powell and with German expressionism inspired sets and Charles Loughtons steady direction Night of the Hunter is a unique and haunting cinematic experience.
April 8, 2015
Absolutely fucking brilliant classic movie. Reminds me of a Coen Brothers movie. Strange, funny, original and dark film and brilliantly shot. Mitchum is class as usual.
April 6, 2015
This is easily one of my top 25 films of all time.
I love everything about it.
The film begins with Harry Powell, one of the greatest villains of all time. He's a serial killer and a religious fanatic at the same time, and that rocks! Then, the film just gets better and better. The horror tale becomes creepier and darker. And it works flawlessly in black and white. I couldn't imagine watching The Night of the Hunter in Technicolor.
I love how the pace and the suspense grow to the final act where they hit the maximum. The same thing happens in Rear Window, which is my all time favorite film.
Charles Laughton sure knows how to use a great score and soundtrack to scare the shit out of the audience. Just listen to it!
The "Leaning" scene made me drop tears. It was so powerful and deep at the same time. It may be one of the greatest moments in the American cinema.
I also found the ending to be very satisfying. Perhaps it is the best ending that Harry Powell could ever get.
So I find this movie to be a masterpiece. The very definition of a film noir. It's a shame Charles Laughton didn't direct anything else.
February 20, 2015
Some film's age more then others. This is one of those. It's redeeming aspects and practically the only one, is Mitcum's performance in an already well written character. It's critic-acclaim gave me an itch, a pre-meditated idea of ' I'm gonna watch a great film!' In 1950's this must of been fucking brilliant, but now. Corny and has those movie line's like the actors were reading a cue-card off camera. I have enjoyed classic's that have the same style (3:10 to Yuma, To Kill a Mockingbird) but this one bored me to my phone. Deserves a remake so some one can bring life back to a great movie villain from a boring film.
½ February 6, 2015
Very strange with a lot of editing choices I didn't agree with, but still enjoyable, especially after a campy performance by Robert Mitchum.
½ January 20, 2015
Escenas unicas en la historia del cine. Charles Laughton no solo era un gran actor!
½ January 4, 2015
The sole behind-the-camera gig of Charles Laughton is a psycho-thriller shrouded in spectral majesty, religious undertones and a straight-up evil performance from Robert Mitchum. The movie that inspired countless knuckle tattoos, Night Of The Hunter stars Robert Mitchum as Reverend Powell, one of the worst preachers of all time. The self-proclaimed man of God marries and murders a series of lonely women, justifying it as God's good work, but when the children of his latest conquest run away with the money Powell had planned to steal, a terrifying and scenic chase begins. So poor was the reception of this film that Laughton never directed again. Shame, because Night of the Hunter is an eerie and deeply scripted monochromatic masterpiece. Who knows what else could have been?
½ December 15, 2014
På trods af ujævn fortællestil og en happy ending, der nærmer sig kvalmegrænsen, er dette stadig en af verdens bedste film. Se den!
½ December 1, 2014
Great story with amazing cinematography and atmosphere.
November 30, 2014
A stunning film that might as well be the most pleasant nightmare I've ever had.
½ November 27, 2014
Mitchum is effectively creepy and the overall tone has a moody/dark feel to it. Being from 1955 it does have its limits and formulas to follow, but that darkness is certainly beyond the normal for the time. It does get a bit overboard at times and the last 10 minutes are a bit scattered.
November 14, 2014
Astounding on so many different levels I cannot begin to comprehend how an audience or critic could be immune to its haunting beauty!
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