Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Night of the Hunter

If you were to ask me what my favorite movie villains are, they would be Psycho's Norman Bates, Schindler's List's Amon Goeth and Sweet Smell of Success' J.J. Hunsecker. But after seeing The Night of the Hunter, I'd also throw in Rev. Harry Powell.

After being released from prison, Rev. Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) seeks out to find the $10,000 his cellmate had stolen and hidden. He marries his cellmate's widow Willa (Shelley Winters) to get closer to the money's location, but she doesn't know about the money. Her two children know where the money is, but they're not saying where it is.

Oh man, Mitchum is horrifying. He'll have people confess to their sins while he keeps his own hidden. It's yet another performance that failed to get any awards recognition when it should have. This was the only movie that Charles Laughton directed, which is a shame. He would've directed again had The Night of the Hunter not bombed upon its release (he wanted to direct an adaptation of The Naked and the Dead). Another thing I'd like to comment on: if Harry Powell is a real preacher, then Marilyn Monroe was a real blonde.

My Rating: *****

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