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The Night of the Hunter (1955)

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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.

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(screenplay by), (based on the novel by)
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2 wins. See more awards »

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


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 November 1955 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Die Nacht des Jägers  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the Spanish version the translators changed the name of the girl from Pearl to May, perhaps for the difficult pronunciation in Spanish. See more »

Goofs

A man who is sentenced to only thirty days for a misdemeanor would be sent to the county jail, and not the state penitentiary, and thus, would never be sharing a cell with a condemned man on death row. See more »

Quotes

Ben Harper: What religion do you profess, preacher?
Rev. Harry Powell: The religion the Almighty and me worked out betwixt us.
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Connections

Referenced in Histoire(s) du cinéma: Seul le cinéma (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Dream, Little One, Dream
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Walter Schumann
Sung by a chorus during the opening credits
Reprised offscreen by an unidentified female when the chldren are on the run
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A must-see for lovers of art cinema and suspense. Exquisite!
29 December 1998 | by See all my reviews

One of the best suspense films ever made. Exquisite art direction: moody, scary, sometimes lyrically beautiful. Yet there are comical and even idyllic moments. Mitchum is EXCELLENT, especially in the cellar scene. Subtle, different; not just the same old ax-after-ax tear-'em-up blood-and-gore formula, but REAL suspense built from the personalities of the characters and the artful editing, music, art direction, and Charles Laughton's directing. Yet warm and lovely in parts. The cast's characterizations are excellent, even in minor roles, such as the "typical townspeople". You'll remember this one for a long time. Maybe not for kids under 12, as the frightening parts are too much like real life (compared to run-of-the-mill horrendous movies) and might leave unsettling memories.


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