The Night of the Hunter
+ intro by Jason Wood, BFI Director of Public Programme and Audiences
Laughton’s remarkable Depression-era fable about innocent children caught up in a battle between good and evil.
Robert Mitchum, Lillian Gish, Shelley Winters, Billy Chapin
USA 1955. 92min
Laughton’s sole film as director is a wonderfully imaginative but faithful adaptation of Davis Grubb’s novel, set during the Depression, about two children menaced by a murderously psychopathic preacher (Mitchum) who marries their widowed mother in the hope of landing himself a fortune. Stanley Cortez’s cinematography combines fairy tale, American pastoral and pure nightmare, while Gish and Mitchum are formidably evocative of good and evil.
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