It's the Great Depression. In the process of robbing a bank of $10,000, the robbery because he is unable to provide for his family, Ben Harper kills two people. Before he is captured, he is able to convince his adolescent son John and his infant daughter Pearl not to tell anyone, including their mother Willa, who Ben believes is too idealistic, of where he hid the money, namely in Pearl's favorite toy, a doll that she carries everywhere with her. Ben, who is captured, tried and convicted, is sentenced to death. But before he is executed, Ben is in the state penitentiary with a cell mate, a man by the name of Harry Powell, a self-professed man of the cloth, who is really a con man and murderer, he who swindles lonely women, primarily rich widows, of their money before he kills them. The authorities are unaware of these crimes, Harry who is incarcerated on a thirty day sentence for car theft. Harry does whatever he can, unsuccessfully, to find out the location of the $10,000 from Ben. ... Written by
Producer Paul Gregory and Charles Laughton presented key members of the crew, like cinematographer Stanley Cortez, each with a one percent interest in the film. This given to them on top of their salaries and is something that is never done. Gregory and Laughton said it was not done to encourage the artists, but reward them for their artistry. This was done over the objections of United Artists. See more »
When Harry tells the children about their "fine dinner, with fried chicken..." the chicken on the table is a whole, baked chicken. See more »
Beautiful cinematography and an epic tale of the struggle between good and evil
The first time I saw this film was probably more than ten years ago on a late Monday night on the BBC. At such a time on such a day one never expects to be shown something decent. But 'Night of the hunter' proved to be one of the best films I have ever seen. The cinematography is breathtaking, especially the river journey of the two children who are fleeing for the evil and demented preacher who killed their mother. Never have I seen nature being portrayed in such a mysterious and dangerous way. The sharp contrasts of light, the dark church in the distance which symbolises the dangerous preacher. The film made me think of the books of Flannery 'O Connor, especially the strange and mysterious southern tale Wise Blood.
41 of 71 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?