The Night of the Hunter
The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Adapted by James Agee from a novel by Davis Grubb, The Night of the Hunter represented legendary actor Charles Laughton's only film directing effort. Combining stark realism with Germanic expressionism, the movie is a brilliant… More

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Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1955
DVD Release Date: May 15, 2001
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Critic Score: 98% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Featuring Robert Mitchum's formidable performance as a child-hunting preacher, The Night of the Hunter is a disturbing look at good and evil.

Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune

One of the great movie horror tales, with one of the greatest of all movie villains.

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Variety Staff

This start for Gregory as producer and Laughton as director is rich in promise but the completed product, bewitching at times, loses sustained drive via too many offbeat touches that have a misty effect.

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Larushka Ivan-Zadeh
Metro (UK)

The only film directed by actor Charles Laughton, this haunting masterpiece is simply one of the best horrors ever made.

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TIME Magazine

It is a garish, unbelievable but fairly exciting nightmare.

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

All this has been crisply compacted into clear screen drama by the late James Agee and it is put forth under the direction of Mr. Laughton in stark, rigid visual terms.

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Dorothy Woodend
The Tyee (British Columbia)

A film might start out its life as trash, and somewhere over the course of time, become art, in the same fashion that a lump of coal subjected to time and pressure becomes a diamond.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

Ultimately the source of its style and power is mysterious -- it is a film without precedents, and without any real equals

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Tom Huddleston
Time Out

It's the most haunted and dreamlike of all American films, a gothic backwoods ramble with the Devil at its heels.

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Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

A magnificent example of a movie doing what movies do best: capturing emotions on film and presenting a feverish, imaginative state with the tactile quality of the real.

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More reviews for The Night of the Hunter

Flixster Audience Score: 90% Flixster User Reviews
Kevin M. Williams
Charles Laughton, the formidable British actor, after years in the trade, made one feature as a director and this is it, layered like a fat juicy onion. A… More
Jim Hunter
A phony preacher infiltrates a family in order to find hidden money. I have trouble making sense of Charles Laughton's only directorial effort. On the one… More
Carlos Magalh„es
This tense and bleak film noir, aesthetically mesmerizing and borrowing heavily from German Expressionism, is all the more surprising when you know that… More
Kevin Cookman
Edward Boxler
The very definition of a film noir. Robert Mitchum is spectacular as psychotic preacher and serial killer Harry Powell. Few films actually earn the title… More
Chris Weber
This is the first and only film directed by actor Charles Laughton, and it's a shame he didn't direct anything else, because this one is quite good.… More