Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Night of the Hunter
How can you not like this movie? A relatively young Robert Mitchum plays a psychotic murderer and con man masquerading as a preacher. The love/hate thing is pretty chilling in and of itself, plus it's frightening how some of the "religious" types are totally sucked in. Of course they are on the front lines of the lynch mob at the end. Guess the 'ol forgiveness thang was kinda out the window there.
And Lillian Gish - wow! She portrayed the iron willed caregiver to the local orphans with a very soft spot in her heart. Peter Graves and Shelly Winters play the soon to be murdered parents of Pearl and John. Considering the age of those actors, they portrayed the kids pretty well, particularly Billy Chapin, who played John.
Charles Laughton directed. According to IMDB, he didn't care for children and Mitchum ended up directing the kids in several scenes. Mitchum didn't care much for Winters, either. Robert Mitchum was openly contemptuous of Shelley Winters throughout the shooting of the film and later claimed to have wished Charles Laughton had actually used Winters in the scene when her character's body is seen dead underwater. The film had such a lukewarm reception, Laughton didn't direct another picture.
Just as an aside - Lillian Gish was quite a babe in her younger days, too!
See what I mean! I wouldn't steer ya wrong. Trust me.