There's this rotting vileness lurking beneath the happy-go-lucky music and cheerful veneer of the production design. When darkness takes over the photography and the tone, up crawls some of the most striking and disturbing imagery I've seen in quite some time. It borderlines on satanic, at times! Truly perfect B&W cinematography, with some of the best lighting I've ever seen.
A superb drama on the very problem of evil and its absolute manifestation in the seduction of children. Mitchum as evil incarnate is ounterpoised to Lillian Gish protective embrace through the Manichaestic worldview of the film. This is a gorgeously shot and engaging thriller punctuated by moments of oneiric poetry like the famous boat sequence under the starry skies or the one at the bottom of the river. Dazzling!
This is a wonderful film in so many ways. The photography is beautiful, the ethics deceivingly complex, and most importantly: the adventure is amazing. I'd expect this film to be able to appeal to young children too, mainly because of the acting and the romantic approach in which the tale is shown, which gives the film its strong warmth.
Considered by many as an American classic... This is rather weak film, with an almost laughable storyline and a manichean puritan moral. Only a mention for the kids who play in the film and for the few atmospheric parts. Mitchum as a psychopath and false preacher is not convincing at all, dull acting.
THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER is the only movie from Charles Laughton as a director. It seems this movie was inspired by the German Expressionism style. But you can also called this movie a noir. Mr. Laughton is a very talented director. I know it's not a horror movie. I can feel the terror that came from Robert Mitchum's character. THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER has a great cinematography. Its compositions of lighting is awesome
A striking biblical fairy tale that's quite interesting in the way it explores religion both as a redeeming frame for childhood and personal flaws, as well as an excuse for the wicked to justify their cruel. The use of high contrast between light and shadow is truly incredible, as is the way water is employed in its true fairy tale context as a membrane of the metaphysical presence within the film. Wonderful.
Though not successful with the public or critically upon release Laughton's sole directorial effort is now considered an American classic. The gothic expressionism seen throughout is certainly unique with its mix of fiery brimstone, true faith and the innocence of childhood. Mitchum gives his most memorable performance here with stellar support from the rest of the cast. A story of love and hate indeed.
It is entirely possible we are all just John and Pearl on the raft dreaming up this technicolour horror show we call reality. It's just the most perfect fairytale. "With their hair waving all lazy and soft like meadow grass under the flood. Rains cold and the wind blows. All the rains is cold. All the rains is cold." (Cardiacs, 'Wind and Rains is Cold')