The Night of the Hunter Movie Review Summary

Actors: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Night of the Hunter

When unctuous Reverend Harry Powell (Mitchum) learns where a criminal has stashed some money, he literally casts an ominous shadow on their Depression-era home. Sharing fudge and hypocrisy at a Sunday picnic, Mitchum ingratiates himself to the gossipy locals, the nave widow Willa (Winters) and her younger daughter Pearl. But John, the older boy, to whom his father entrusted the cash before his execution, is not fooled by Mitchum's charm, his baritone hymns, nor by the L-O-V-E and H-A-T-E tattooed across his knuckles.
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After Powell weds Willa, apparently for the children's benefit, he righteously denies her a wedding night, and soon murders her, concealing her body in the river. He then begins the sinister business of unearthing the money ("where's it hid?) in torment scenes which telegraph countless dark films to come (ohhhh, chil-dren.)"

His menacing pursuit of the orphans includes an eerie cellar from which the children flee and a nightmarish rowboat scene.

When grandmotherly Rachel Gibson, marvelously played by Lillian Gish, takes the children into her home with four other waifs, kindness, discipline, and the Bible bring comfort. But they still must remain vigilant for the Reverend (figured I was gone, huh?)" When she and John outsmart him, we learn how effective the Reverend's M.O. has been and how just his punishment. Charles Laughton's only directorial effort.

The review of this Movie prepared by Angry Jim Magin

NIGHT OF THE HUNTER is the only movie directed by actor Charles Laughton in 1955. Robert Mitchum learns in prison that a great amount of money is hidden at Shelley Winter's home. He marries her and soon understands that only her children know where the money is. They will have to run away in order to save their lives. A unique masterpiece, a must.
The review of this Movie prepared by Daniel Staebler

Script Analysis of The Night of the Hunter

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1930's-1950's Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Kids:    -   left in charge while parents away Family, struggling with    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   Step Parent(s) Family, loving    -   Yes Special relationship with    -   sister Crime & Scandal    -   Yes Story of    -   catching brutal killer/stalker Religion themed film?    -   Yes Parent(s) gone?    -   Orphan story

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   thief/con artist Age:    -   a kid    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Southeast    -   Midwest Water?    -   Yes Water:    -   peddle boat    -   river Small town?    -   Yes Misc setting    -   prison    -   school

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths    -   explicit references to deaths Any profanity?    -   None Is this movie based on a    -   book

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