The Night of The Hunter is a film that really is like nothing else. It is a dark and suspenseful drama that also plays with themes of philosophy and religion. It is a story of good and evil that redefined fear in the 1950s.
Robert Mitchum expertly portrays Harry Powell, a truly menacing figure. He is a murderer and a thief, wearing the guise of a preacher. He spends much of the film in pursuit of two children who know the whereabouts of a stolen fortune.
To balance the story, Lillian Gish dominates the third act as the story’s true hero. She alone recognizes the true nature of “Reverand” Powel and the danger the children face.”It’s a hard world for little things,” she says in one of the most poetic scenes in the film.
While the performances are excellent, the film itself is the star. The music and cinematography create real emotion in the viewer while the themes provoke thought at every turn. The director actually studied silent film before production to create a visual experience for the audience.
The unique approach to filmmaking certainly paid off. If you have not seen “The Night of The Hunter” it is a must-watch. What other 1950s classics are on your must-see list? Let us know in the comments.
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