The Night of the Hunter

The Night of the Hunter

Charles Laughton (1955)

12 Certificate


Our Score
This thriller is one of the great masterpieces of American cinema, a movie so strangely repellent, so poetic and so utterly hypnotic that it sadly never found an audience. Based on a novel by Davis Grubb, it was Charles Laughton's only film as director, and it features Robert Mitchum's finest screen performance as a bogus priest and psychopath who has "love" and "hate" tattooed on his knuckles. Serving time in jail, Mitchum learns about a bank robbery from a condemned man, and on his release he relentlessly pursues the man's children whom he believes can lead him to a cache of stolen money. Mitchum's always imposing, menacing presence is heightened by Laughton to an extraordinary degree, and their stunning collaboration is enhanced by Lillian Gish's portrayal of a gun-toting spinster. Set during the Depression in a rural backwater where the riverbanks are alive with croaking frogs, it's a fairy tale turned into a dark night of the soul.


A psychopathic preacher insinuates himself into the family of his former cellmate in an attempt to discover the whereabouts of a hoard of stolen money - but when charm fails to work, he opts for more brutal tactics. Charles Laughton's thriller, starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish and Peter Graves.

Cast & Crew

Preacher Harry Powell Robert Mitchum
Willa Harper Shelley Winters
Rachel Lillian Gish
Icey Spoon Evelyn Varden
Ben Harper Peter Graves (2)
John Billy Chapin
Pearl Sally Jane Bruce
Birdie James Gleason
Walt Spoon Don Beddoe
Ruby Gloria Castillo
Clary Mary Ellen Clemons
Mary Cheryl Callaway
Director Charles Laughton
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteGuidance: Contains violence.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 17 Jan 2014