The Night of the Hunter

The Night of the Hunter

Robert Mitchum
Director: Charles Laughton Cast: Robert Mitchum
Robert Mitchum
, Shelley Winters
Shelley Winters
, Lillian Gish
Lillian Gish
Charles Laughton

Blu-ray (Black & White)

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Overview

Adapted by James Agee from a novel by Davis Grubb, The Night of the Hunter represented legendary actor Charles Laughton's only film directing effort. Combining stark realism with Germanic expressionism, the movie is a brilliant good-and-evil parable, with "good" represented by a couple of farm kids and a pious old lady, and "evil" literally in the hands of a posturing psychopath. Imprisoned with thief Ben Harper (Peter Graves), phony preacher Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) learns that Ben has hidden a huge sum of money somewhere near his home. Upon his release, the murderously misogynistic Powell insinuates himself into Ben's home, eventually marrying his widow Willa (Shelley Winters). Eventually all that stands between Powell and the money are Ben's son (Billy Chapin) and daughter (Sally Jane Bruce), who take refuge in a home for abandoned children presided over by the indomitable, scripture-quoting Rachel Cooper (Lillian Gish). The war of wills between Mitchum and Gish is the heart of the film's final third, a masterful blend of horror and lyricism. Laughton's tight, disciplined direction is superb -- and all the more impressive when one realizes that he intensely disliked all child actors. The music by Walter Schumann and the cinematography of Stanley Cortez are every bit as brilliant as the contributions by Laughton and Agee. Overlooked on its first release, The Night of the Hunter is now regarded as a classic.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/08/2014
UPC: 0715515113618
Original Release: 1955
Source: Criterion Collection
Region Code: A
Presentation: [B&W]
Sound: [Dolby Digital Mono]
Time: 1:33:00
Sales rank: 4,472

Special Features

Disc One:; Audio commentary by second-unit director Terry Sanders, film critic F.X. Feeney, archivist Robert Gitt, and author Preston Neal Jones; New documentary featuring interviews with producer Paul Gregory, Sanders, Feeney, Jones, and author Jeffrey Couchman; New interview with Charles Laghton biographer Simon Callow; Clip from the Ed Sullivan Show in which cast members perform a deleted scene; Fifteen-minute archival interview with cinematographer Stanley Cortez; Gallery of sketches by Davis Grubb, author of the source novel; Trailer; ; Disc Two:; Charles Laughton directs "The Night Of The Hunter," a two-and-a-half-hour treasure trove of outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage; New conversation between Gitt and film critic Leonard maltin about Charles Laughton Directs

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Mitchum Preacher Harry Powell
Shelley Winters Willa Harper
Lillian Gish Rachel Cooper
Billy Chapin John Harper
Evelyn Varden Icey Spoon
Peter Graves Ben Harper
James Gleason Uncle Birdie
Sally Jane Bruce Pearl Harper
Don Beddoe Walt Spoon
Gloria Castillo Ruby
Mary Ellen Clemons Clary
Cheryl Callaway Mary
Corey Allen Young Man in Town
Paul Bryar Hangman Bart
Walter Schumann Conductor

Technical Credits
Charles Laughton Director
James Agee Screenwriter
Jerry Bos Costumes/Costume Designer
Hilyard M. Brown Art Director
Evelyn Carruth Costumes/Costume Designer
Don L. Cash Makeup
Stanley Cortez Cinematographer
Louis de Witt Special Effects
Robert Golden Editor
Paul Gregory Producer
Jack R. Rabin Special Effects
Ruby Rosenberg Production Manager
Walter Schumann Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Alfred E. Spencer Set Decoration/Design

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