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The Night of the Hunter ()


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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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Cast verified as complete

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Harry Powell
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Willa Harper
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Rachel Cooper
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Uncle Birdie Steptoe
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Icey Spoon
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Ben Harper
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Walt Spoon
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John Harper
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Pearl Harper
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Ruby (as Gloria Castilo)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Young Man in Town (uncredited)
Oscar Blank ...
Townsman (uncredited)
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Bart the Hangman (uncredited)
Nora Bush ...
Townswoman (uncredited)
Cheryl Callaway ...
Mary (uncredited)
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Judge (uncredited)
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Ruby's Boyfriend (uncredited)
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Townsman (uncredited)
Mary Ellen Clemons ...
Clary (uncredited)
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Prison Guard (uncredited)
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Sheriff (uncredited)
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Child (uncredited)
Rudy Germane ...
Townsman (uncredited)
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District Attorney (uncredited)
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Townsman Who Greets Rachel (uncredited)
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Woman Feeding Hungry Children (uncredited)
Ann Kunde ...
Townswoman (uncredited)
Kay Lavelle ...
Miz Cunninghan (uncredited)
Thomas Martin ...
Townsman on Street (uncredited)
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Townsman (uncredited)
King Mojave ...
Townsman (uncredited)
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Bart's Wife (uncredited)
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Burlesque Dancer (uncredited)
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Townsman (uncredited)
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Prison Guard (uncredited)
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Townswoman (uncredited)
Robert Robinson ...
Townsman (uncredited)
Edwin Rochelle ...
Townsman (uncredited)
Phil Schumacher ...
Townsman (uncredited)
Lucile Sewall ...
Townswoman (uncredited)
James Stone ...
General Storekeeper (uncredited)
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(uncredited)
Glen Walters ...
Townswoman (uncredited)

Directed by

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Charles Laughton

Written by

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James Agee ... (screenplay by)
 
Davis Grubb ... (based on the novel by)
 
Charles Laughton ... (screenplay contributor) (uncredited)

Produced by

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Paul Gregory ... producer

Music by

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Walter Schumann ... (music by)

Cinematography by

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Stanley Cortez ... (photography by)

Film Editing by

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Robert Golden ... film editor

Casting By

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Millie Gusse ... (uncredited)

Art Direction by

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Hilyard M. Brown ... (as Hilyard Brown)

Set Decoration by

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Alfred E. Spencer ... (set decoration) (as Al Spencer)

Makeup Department

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Don L. Cash ... makeup (as Don Cash)
Kay Shea ... hair stylist

Production Management

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Ruby Rosenberg ... production manager
Frank Parmenter ... production manager: second unit (uncredited)

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

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Milton Carter ... assistant director
Frank Parmenter ... second unit director (uncredited)
Terry Sanders ... second unit director (uncredited)
Jack Sonntag ... first assistant director (uncredited)

Art Department

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Joe LaBella ... property man (as Joe La Bella)

Sound Department

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Stanford Houghton ... sound (as Stanford Naughton)

Special Effects by

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Louis DeWitt ... special photographic effects (as Louis De Witt)
Jack Rabin ... special photographic effects

Camera and Electrical Department

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Seymour Hoffberg ... assistant camera (uncredited)
Harold E. Wellman ... camera: second unit (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

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Jerry Bos ... wardrobe
Evelyn Carruth ... wardrobe assistant

Music Department

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Arthur Morton ... orchestrator (uncredited)

Other crew

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Saul Bass ... publicist (uncredited)
Robert Mitchum ... acting coach: children (uncredited)
Denis Sanders ... unspecified assistant (uncredited)
Terry Sanders ... unspecified assistant (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies

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Distributors

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Special Effects

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Other Companies

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Storyline

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Plot Summary

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 evangelicalism; she is a pious woman who feels she needs to atone for her sins which led to Ben doing what he did, especially as Harry presents himself as the preacher who worked at the prison and provided salvation to Ben before his death. Harry quickly figures out that John and Pearl know where the money is. Conversely, John doesn't trust Harry, John who first tries not to show to Harry that he indeed does know where the money is, and then second constantly reminds a more-trusting Pearl of their promise to their now-deceased father. With Willa devoted to her new husband, John and Pearl need some other adult assistance in evading Harry's veiled threats, an adult who not only can see the honesty and goodness in children but who can also see a true wolf in sheep's clothing like Harry. Written by Huggo

Plot Keywords
Taglines The scenes...the story...The stars BUT ABOVE ALL - THE SUSPENSE! See more »
Genres
Parents Guide View content advisory »
Certification

Additional Details

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Also Known As
  • La nuit du chasseur (France)
  • Die Nacht des Jägers (Germany)
  • La noche del cazador (Spain)
  • La nit del caçador (Spain, Catalan title)
  • Shab-e shekarchi (Iran, Persian title)
  • See more »
Runtime
  • 92 min
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Language
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Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $795,000 (estimated)
Cumulative Worldwide Gross $1,174,452

Did You Know?

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Trivia Charles Laughton reportedly worked well with the boy playing John, but did not get along with the girl playing Pearl and shouted at her on occasion. As Laughton had the camera continue to roll after the scenes were finished, the camera often caught her reacting to him. Some of these "out-takes" were used in the final editing process as reaction shots to the Preacher's character. 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 »
Movie Connections Edited into La monnaie de l'absolu (1999). See more »
Soundtracks Dream, Little One, Dream See more »
Quotes Rachel Cooper: It's a hard world for little things.
See more »

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