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Thumbnail for The Night of the Hunter (1955) The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Basic Info Rusty's rating: 80
Notable as: ThrillerGenre: Thriller, Drama, Crime, Film noirMain subject: serial killer, capital punishmentNarrative location: Appalachian MountainsRuntime: 89 - 93 minutesColor: black-and-white filmLanguage: EnglishCountry: United StatesDirector: Charles Laughton, Robert Mitchum, Terry SandersScreenwriter: James Agee, Davis Grubb, Charles LaughtonBased on: The Night of the HunterMusic: Walter SchumannCinematography: Stanley CortezStars: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, James Gleason, Evelyn Varden, Peter Graves, Don Beddoe, Billy Chapin, Sally Jane Bruce Producer: Paul GregoryAwards won: National Film RegistryAward details: (details at IMDb)
Description

The Night of the Hunter is a 1955 American thriller film directed by Charles Laughton and starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters and Lillian Gish. The film is based on the 1953 novel of the same name by Davis Grubb, adapted for the screen by James Agee and Laughton. Its plot focuses on a corrupt reverend-turned-serial killer who uses his charms to woo an unsuspecting widow and her two children in an attempt to steal a fortune hidden by the woman's dead husband. 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 sets it apart from other Hollywood films of the 1940s and 1950s, and it has influenced later directors such as David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, Terrence Malick, Jim Jarmusch, 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 its National Film Registry.


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