The Night of the Hunter
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From the novel by Davis Grubb
Originally produced as a motion picture in 1955
Special features: Commentary with second-unit director Terry Sanders, film archivist Robert Gill, film critic F.X. Feeney and author Preston Neal Jones. 'The making of The night of the hunter' documentary; 'Moving pictures' documentary; 'Stanley Cortez' interview; 'Simon Callow on Charles Laughton' interview; 'The Ed Sullivan Show' excerpt from the September 25, 1955 episode; Davis Grubb sketches ; Disc 2. Charles Laughton directs 'The night of the hunter,' a two and a half hour compilation of outtakes and behind the scenes footage
Introduction by Robert Gill and Leonard Maltin ; Booklet: 'Holy terror,' essay by Terrence Rafferty
'Downriver and heavenward with James Agee,' essay by Michael Sragow
"The Night of the Hunter -- incredibly, the only film the great actor Charles Laughton ever directed -- is truly a stand-alone masterwork. A horror movie with qualities of a Grimm fairy tale, it stars a sublimely sinister Robert Mitchum as a traveling preacher named Harry Powell (he of the tattooed knuckles), whose nefarious motives for marrying a fragile widow, played by Shelley Winters, are uncovered by her terrified young children. Graced by images of eerie beauty and a sneaky sense of humor, this ethereal, expressionistic American classic -- also featuring the contributions of actress Lillian Gish and writer James Agee -- is cinema's most eccentric rendering of the battle between good and evil." -- Publisher.
DVD, NTSC; widescreen, aspect ratio (1.66:1), monaural
National Film Registry, 1992
Video recordings for the hearing impaired
Feature films-United States
Brothers and sisters
Impostors and imposture
Charles Laughton directs The night of the hunter
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Rachel Cooper: "...My soul is humbled when I see the way little ones accept their lot. Lord save little children... The wind blows, and the rains are cold, yet they abide..."
Rachel Cooper: "Get your state troopers out here. I got something trapped in my barn."
Rachel Cooper: "I'm a strong tree with branches for many birds. I'm good for something in this world and I know it too."
Willa Harper (next to new husband Rev. Harry Powell, at the revival meeting): "You have all sinned! (crowd roars) Which one of you can say, as I can say, that you drove a good man to murder! (crowd) Because I kept a-houndin' him, for perfume, and clothes, and face paint! (crowd) And, he slewed two human beings! (crowd) And he come to me and he said TAKE THIS MONEY, AND BUY YOURSELF THE CLOTHES! AND THE PAINT! (crowd) But 'brothren', 'brothren', oh, that's where the 'lawd' stepped in! That's where the 'lawd' stepped in! He said, the lawd, to that man, you take that money, and you throw it in the river!" Rev. Harry Powell: "In the river!" Crowd: "IN THE RIVER!!"
Mrs. Icey Spoon (at the picnic, talking about sex in marriage): "A woman's a fool to marry for that. That's somethin' for a man. The Good Lord never meant for a decent woman to want that! Not really want it... It's all just a fake and a pipe dream..."
Mrs. Icey Spoon (at the picnic, talking about the conjugal bed): "When you've been married to a man for forty years you know all that don't amount to a hill of beans. I've been married to my Walt that long and I swear in all that time I just lie there thinkin' about my canning."
(Uncle) Birdie Steptoe ('sweetening' his coffee): "Man of my age needs a little snort in the morning, heat the boilers."
Rachel Cooper (reading the Bible to children's heads, floating in outer space): "Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. (cut to children finding a corpse) A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit. Neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Wherefore, by their fruits, ye shall know them." (cut to Rev. Harry Powell, tooling down the road in a stolen car)
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