The Night of the Hunter


Joared‘s post, More Movies reminded me of The Night of the Hunter, a 1955 film noir directed by Charles Laughton. One of my favourite movies ever. Charles Laughton, best known for his acting, only directed another movie, The Man on the Eiffel Tower, which I don’t think I have ever seen. Have you?
If it is anything like The Night of the Hunter, it is certainly an interesting and unusual movie.

I have watched The Night of the Hunter in its entirety quite a few times and every time I am amazed at how good it is. The use of black and white is remarkable, I think it’s Robert Mitchum‘s best performance ever, and Lilian Gish, an actress from the time of the silent movies, is also remarkable.

My grandfather on my mother’s side owned a cinema in his native town, Slonim, and my mother used to have loads of photos of famous actors and actresses from that era. I mentioned once Gloria Swanson, but I remember distinctly photos of Lilian Gish in the bunch of photos that got lost while I was moving from my old place to the place I currently live in.

If you are interested in The Night of the Hunter, don’t miss Gloria’s Rooting for Laughton , it is indeed full of interesting info about Charles Laughton


9 thoughts on “The Night of the Hunter

  1. Bonjour Claude! It will no doubt be evening now where you are. I just wanted to say hello and let you know that I’ve enjoyed reading your blogs and looking at your photos! I visited Paris for the day on a trip to England in 2005, with my boyfirend. Although it was a rainy day we still got a real flavor for the city and enjoyed it so much. I also loved your post “where I am from” and listened to it in French several times….almost can understand it if I read along in Anglais! 😀 Keep up your wonderful Blog. Thank you! Chris

  2. Mais Charles Laughton did not direct any other film. The Man on the Eiffel Tower was directed by actor Burgess Meredith, and featured Laughton as Maigret.

    I’ve not seen it, but watched Night of the Hunter…it’s very creepy!

    Yours truly,
    The movie nut,

  3. Chris:

    “The Man in the Eiffel Tower” was in fact co-directed by the three main actors: usually the one directing was the one who wasn’t in front of the camera, though Meredith was the one officially credited. The film photographer, Stanley Cortez, surely helped the tyro directors in their endeavour. For Cortez and Laughton it was of course the beginning of a friendship 😉

    Had “Night of the Hunter” meet with critical and audience success, Laughton had further projects in mind: one was a film adaptation of Norman Mailer’s novel “The Naked and the Dead”, and he also had in mind adapting one of Thomas Wolfe’s novels, too. Unfortunately “Night of the Hunter” meant the end of his career as a director: alas, the film was vindicated too late.

    BTW, “Night of the Hunter” lovers are invited to visit my Charles Laughton Blog:

  4. Excellent post, Claude, and thanks for mentioning my blog. This video you show is certainly one of the more unsettling scenes, as is the concept of the whole movie. Enjoyed your readers’ comments about the film, Laughton, and all.

    Interesting about the movie theatre connection for you. Regret the photos were lost in your move.

    Too bad Laughton didn’t get to direct more films. I must see if the other film mentioned is on DVD.

    As for Gloria Swanson, her later years and efforts to retain a youthful appearance worked just the opposite based on a live appearance she made at our local TV station while I was working there. A lesson for all of us on aging naturally and not trying to disguise or pretend otherwise, as the best way to elderhood.

  5. @ Kitty1947: thanks for visiting and for your kind words. 🙂

    @ Chris Late: IMDB mentions Charles Laughton as the director of The Man in the Eiffel Tower. Check here

    @ Gloria: thanks for this wealth of information. I added a link to your site within the post.
    @ kenju: according to IMDB, it was made in 1950.

  6. Thanks for the recommendation and the excerpt — I will add it to my netflix list and look forward to its creepiness! Very interesting info about the movies on Gloria’s blog. I am curious, what is an “arriki-town?” (she says she lives in one near Barcelona)

  7. What great recommendations. I’ve never seen either movie, but just went and read about them. I’m now headed to Netflix to put them on my list. They really look good!

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