IMDb > The Night of the Hunter (1955)
The Night of the Hunter
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The Night of the Hunter (1955) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 42 | slideshow) Videos (see all 3)
The Night of the Hunter -- Robert Mitchum stars in an unforgettable role as a psychopathic preacher in relentless pursuit of two children who have their dead father's stolen fortune hidden in a doll. Shelley Winters co-stars.
The Night of the Hunter -- Three Reasons Criterion trailer
The Night of the Hunter -- Criterion trailer


User Rating:
8.1/10   59,362 votes »
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Up 10% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Davis Grubb (from the novel by)
James Agee (screen play)
View company contact information for The Night of the Hunter on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 November 1955 (Argentina) See more »
The scenes...the story...The stars BUT ABOVE ALL - THE SUSPENSE! See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win See more »
(171 articles)
User Reviews:
One of the most extraordinary movies ever made. Essential viewing for anybody interested in American movies! See more (361 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robert Mitchum ... Harry Powell

Shelley Winters ... Willa Harper

Lillian Gish ... Rachel Cooper

James Gleason ... Birdie Steptoe
Evelyn Varden ... Icey Spoon

Peter Graves ... Ben Harper

Don Beddoe ... Walt Spoon

Billy Chapin ... John Harper
Sally Jane Bruce ... Pearl Harper
Gloria Castillo ... Ruby (as Gloria Castilo)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Emmett Lynn ... Birdie Steptoe (scenes deleted)

Corey Allen ... Young Man in Town (uncredited)
Paul Bryar ... Bart the Hangman (uncredited)
Cheryl Callaway ... Mary (uncredited)

Michael Chapin ... Ruby's Boyfriend (uncredited)
Mary Ellen Clemons ... Clary (uncredited)

Kathy Garver ... Child (uncredited)

James Griffith ... District Attorney (uncredited)

John Hamilton ... Townsman Who Greets Rachel (uncredited)
Kay Lavelle ... Miz Cunninghan (uncredited)

Gloria Pall ... Burlesque Dancer (uncredited)
George Wallace ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Charles Laughton 
Robert Mitchum (some Billy Chapin scenes) (uncredited)
Terry Sanders (uncredited)
Writing credits
Davis Grubb (from the novel by)

James Agee (screen play)

Charles Laughton  screenplay contributor (uncredited)

Produced by
Paul Gregory .... producer
Original Music by
Walter Schumann (music by)
Cinematography by
Stanley Cortez (photography by)
Film Editing by
Robert Golden (film editor)
Casting by
Millie Gusse (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Hilyard M. Brown  (as Hilyard Brown)
Set Decoration by
Alfred E. Spencer (set decoration) (as Al Spencer)
Makeup Department
Don L. Cash .... makeup (as Don Cash)
Kay Shea .... hair stylist
Production Management
Ruby Rosenberg .... production manager
Frank Parmenter .... production manager: second unit (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Milton Carter .... assistant director
Frank Parmenter .... second unit director (uncredited)
Terry Sanders .... second unit director (uncredited)
Jack Sonntag .... first assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Joe LaBella .... property man (as Joe La Bella)
Sound Department
Stanford Houghton .... sound (as Stanford Naughton)
Special Effects by
Louis DeWitt .... special photographic effects (as Louis De Witt)
Jack Rabin .... special photographic effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Seymour Hoffberg .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Harold E. Wellman .... camera: second unit (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jerry Bos .... wardrobe
Evelyn Carruth .... wardrobe assistant
Music Department
Arthur Morton .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Saul Bass .... publicist (uncredited)
Robert Mitchum .... director: children (uncredited)
Denis Sanders .... unspecified assistant (uncredited)
Terry Sanders .... unspecified assistant (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
92 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Australia:PG (TV rating) | Brazil:14 | Canada:14A (video rating) | Finland:K-16 (1959) (cut) | Finland:(Banned) (1955) (uncut) | France:U | Germany:12 (re-rating) (2001) | Italy:16+ | Norway:16 | Portugal:M/12 | South Korea:15 (2003) | Spain:T | Sweden:11 (re-rating) (2004) | Sweden:15 (re-rating) (1958) | Sweden:(Banned) (original rating) (1955) | UK:12 | UK:X (original rating) | USA:Approved (certificate #17385) | USA:TV-PG (tv rating) | USA:Unrated (video release) | West Germany:16 (VHS re-rating) | West Germany:18 (original rating) (1956)

Did You Know?

Charles Laughton, who thought that Robert Mitchum was "one of the best actors in the world," wrote in Esquire of the private man he knew to be different than the public image: "All this tough talk is a blind, you know. He's a literate, gracious, kind man, with wonderful manners, and he speaks beautifully - when he wants to. He's a tender man and a very great gentleman. You know, he's really terribly shy." Laughton was usually ill at ease with very macho men yet very comfortable with his star.See more »
Continuity: (at around 23 mins) When Icey Spoon negatively talks about being married to Walt for 40 years at the picnic, his reaction shot shows him set down the piece of chicken. But when Willa calls for John, we see Walt is holding chicken again.See more »
Rev. Harry Powell:Salvation is a last-minute business, boy.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Rust and Bone (2012)See more »
Bringing in the SheavesSee more »


What is 'The Night of the Hunter' about?
How did Harry get out of prison?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
See more »
95 out of 122 people found the following review useful.
One of the most extraordinary movies ever made. Essential viewing for anybody interested in American movies!, 20 May 2004
Author: Infofreak from Perth, Australia

'The Night Of The Hunter' is recognized by most critics and hard core film buffs as one of the most extraordinary movies ever made, but sadly it's still frequently overlooked by the many movie fans, probably because it's so difficult to categorize. Yes, it's a thriller but it's also a child's nightmare. A Noir but also a fable. Robert Mitchum gives one of his very best performances as Harry Powell, the charming but evil preacher with "love" tattooed on one hand, "hate" on the other. Powell is one of the most memorable screen villains of all time, and 'The Night Of The Hunter' is worth watching just for Mitchum, who is mesmerizing. Shelley Winters is surprisingly effective as the widow Powell woos, Peter Graves has a small role at the beginning as her first husband, and Lillian Gish plays the saintly Ms. Cooper, guardian of unwanted children. Because this movie isn't set in isn't the "real world" many viewers don't know exactly how to react to it. Charles Laughton's small town America is a stylized, dreamlike place, in some ways not unlike David Lynch's twisted world depicted in 'Blue Velvet' and 'Twin Peaks'. It also reminds me of Flannery O'Connor's Gothic South in her classic novels 'Wise Blood' and 'The Violent Bear It Away'. Some of the scenes involving Powell menacing Winters' children deliberately invoke James Whale's 'Frankenstein', and the sequence depicting the children's journey down the river is charming but blatantly artificial. While I'm a big fan of "outsider" film makers like Russ Meyer, Coffin Joe and Alejandro Jodorowsky, I also greatly admire those who work within the system but still manage to subvert Hollywood with doses of surrealism. I'm thinking of movies such as 'Kiss Me Deadly', 'Shock Corridor' and 'The Manchurian Candidate'. Each of these films are unique but they also remind me of each other and of 'The Night Of The Hunter'. I highly recommend them all and wish that there were a lot more movies like them today. 'The Night Of The Hunter' is essential viewing for anybody interested in American movies!

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Night of the Hunter (1955)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Ending was unecessary (Spoilers) faulknerfan123
Who would be a good Harry Powell in a remake? Koolio06
8.2 Rating? Did I miss something? cann85
Why the 2nd half of this film is gorgeous. Vikingsrock158
proto slasher movie Pumpkinjack65
Anyone else notice that Pearl was useless.... appleseiter15
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