8.0/10
72,102
418 user 190 critic

The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Trailer
1:41 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay by), (based on the novel by)
Reviews
Popularity
1,204 ( 3,236)
2 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas
The Big Sleep (1946)
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely
Touch of Evil (1958)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Janet Leigh
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A psychotic socialite confronts a pro tennis star with a theory on how two complete strangers can get away with murder - a theory that he plans to implement.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman
The Killing (1956)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Crooks plan and execute a daring race-track robbery.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The question is, would the young tramp really have fallen in love with the groceryman's daughter if he had not caught her in the heart struggle. Be that as it may, she could not find it in ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Lionel Barrymore
Notorious (1946)
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Powerful but unethical Broadway columnist J.J. Hunsecker coerces unscrupulous press agent Sidney Falco into breaking up his sister's romance with a jazz musician.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A dog (Hambone) treks from New York City to Los Angeles to be reunited with his owner (Hillie), meeting a host of helpers along the way.

Director: Roy Watts
Stars: Lillian Gish, Candy Clark, O.J. Simpson
Short | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Royal Macklin, a cadet at WEst Point, is discharged for a misdemeanor, and the father of Beatrice, Macklin's sweetheart, order her to break the engagement. Macklin goes to Honduras, in the ... See full summary »

Director: John B. O'Brien
Stars: Jack Conway, Lillian Gish, Spottiswoode Aitken
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: Lillian Gish, Spottiswoode Aitken, Sam De Grasse
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A strait-laced amateur sociologist, Phillips Christy, from a wealthy family subscribes to the theory that people are shaped by their environment. When he falls in love with Diane, a ... See full summary »

Director: Christy Cabanne
Stars: Lillian Gish, Sam De Grasse, Howard Gaye
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Harry Powell
... Willa Harper
... Rachel Cooper
... Uncle Birdie Steptoe
... Icey Spoon
... Ben Harper
... Walt Spoon
... John Harper
... Pearl Harper
... Ruby (as Gloria Castilo)
Edit

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, figuring that someone in the family knows where the money is hidden. Despite vowing not to remarry, Willa ends up being easy prey for Harry's outward ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

widow | preacher | money | doll | death | See All (325) »

Taglines:

The Hands Of ROBERT MITCHUM in "The Night of the Hunter" See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 November 1955 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Die Nacht des Jägers  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$795,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Kitty White was an acquaintance of Davis Grubb, who wrote the novel upon which the film was based. Charles Laughton was looking for a vocalist to sing composer Walter Schumann's lullaby and Grubb suggested to Laughton that he go hear White sing in a nightclub. He did and White was chosen to sing the haunting lullaby, See more »

Goofs

(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 »

Quotes

Rachel Cooper: Women are such durn fools.
See more »

Connections

Remade as The Streets of San Francisco: River of Fear (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
(1887) (uncredited)
Music by Anthony J. Showalter
Text by Elisha A. Hoffman
Sung a cappella by Robert Mitchum often
Also sung a cappella by Lillian Gish
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

One of the most extraordinary movies ever made. Essential viewing for anybody interested in American movies!
20 May 2004 | by See all my reviews

'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!


119 of 157 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 418 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Sci-Fi Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular sci-fi movies and TV shows available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed