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The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller  |  24 November 1955 (Argentina)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 55,702 users   Metascore: 99/100
Reviews: 345 user | 161 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery.

Directors:

, (uncredited) , 1 more credit »

Writers:

(from the novel by), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Night of the Hunter (1955)

The Night of the Hunter (1955) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Evelyn Varden ...
...
...
Billy Chapin ...
Sally Jane Bruce ...
Gloria Castillo ...
Ruby (as Gloria Castilo)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Emmett Lynn ...
Birdie Steptoe (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

It's the Great Depression. In the process of robbing a bank of $10,000, Ben Harper kills two people. Before he is captured, he is able to convince his adolescent son John and his daughter Pearl not to tell anyone, including their mother Willa, 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, swindling lonely women, primarily rich widows, of their money before he kills them. Harry does whatever he can, unsuccessfully, to find out the location of the $10,000 from Ben. After Ben's execution, Harry decides that Willa will be his next mark, he figuring that someone in the family knowing where the money is. Despite vowing not to get remarried, Willa ends up being easy prey for Harry's outward... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

widow | preacher | children | money | doll | See All (285) »

Taglines:

The wedding night, the anticipation, the kiss, the knife, BUT ABOVE ALL... THE SUSPENSE! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 November 1955 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

La noche del cazador  »

Box Office

Budget:

$795,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Mitchum tried explaining to Billy Chapin that he needed to better understand his character and his relationship to the preacher. Chapin, who had a reputation for brattiness, replied, "That's probably why I just won the New York Critics Circle prize." Charles Laughton bellowed, "Get that child away from me!" and from then on Mitchum patiently directed the boy in their scenes together. See more »

Goofs

When Harry says good morning to Ruby and Mrs. Cooper, he holds the hat about his chest. In the subsequent shot he is lifting the hat from about his knees. See more »

Quotes

Willa Harper: [Willa and Harry's wedding night] Harry?
Rev. Harry Powell: I was praying.
Willa Harper: I'm sorry. I didn't know. I thought...
Rev. Harry Powell: You thought, Willa, that the moment you walked in that door, I'd start to paw at you in that abominable way that men are supposed to do on their wedding night. Ain't that right, now?
Willa Harper: No, no, no.
Rev. Harry Powell: I think it's time we made one thing perfectly clear, Willa. Marriage to me represents the blending of two spirits in the sight of Heaven. Get up, Willa.
Willa Harper: Harry, what...?
Rev. Harry Powell: Get up. Now go look at yourself yonder in...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Delicatessen (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Cresap's Landing Party
(uncredited)
Composers unknown
Played on guitar and sung by James Gleason
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Excellent movie, and well ahead of its time.
13 September 2002 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland) – See all my reviews

This film is way ahead of its time, not only in subject matter but also in cinematic style. The subject is a psychopathic preacher who believes that God is telling him to murder women, usually widowers, and take their money.

From the opening two shots and the first few lines of the preacher, the characters history and intent is laid down. As quickly, the first few scenes with the children show the circumstances that will bring about the main premise. After that you are allowed to wallow in Robert Mitchums role as the over acting preacher. Laughton directs very well, with some visually rich scenes and wonderful shots. However, there are a couple of cheesy moments of dialogue, and a few, almost laughable, scenes. Despite this it's a very good movie with some stunning acting from Robert Mitchum.


43 of 75 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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How did Mitchum know... matteo_raw3000
Are there any other movies that have a similar look? MovieFella23
Cinematography is before its time but the plot has some weknesses alecfeklow
Who would be a good Harry Powell in a remake? Koolio06
It just fell apart ath-11
Not impressed Normal-Bates
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