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Night of the Hunter

Included in our programme for the first time, this classic film stars Robert Mitchum in his most memorable role. It is a compelling and frightening vision of a world in which the preacher, Harry Powell, is the villain who terrorises two children into revealing the whereabouts of their condemned father’s $10,000. Memorable for his tattooed ‘love-hate’ knuckles, Mitchum gives a sinisterly remarkable performance, pursuing the money by seeking out the man’s widow (Shelley Winters). Soon she is at the bottom of the river and the children are fleeing in a small boat. A bible-fearing old lady takes them in but seems helpless before the murderer. The film, shot in black and white and directed by actor Charles Laughton is full of haunting images, as it moves from the strangely angular house, to the dream-like river, to the refuge offered by Rachel (Lillian Gish) where the preacher finds them. The film’s juxtaposition of light and dark, love and hate bring it to a chilling climax.

USA,1955, Drama, 93 mins, Director: Charles Laughton.

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