Saturday, March 27, 2010

#80 The Night of the Hunter: A hard world for little things

1955. dir. Charles Laughton, starring Robert Mitchum, Billy Chapin, Sally Jane Bruce, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish.

Seen it before? No.

Charles Laughton only directed one movie, and it was a good one. Robert Mitchum plays Harry Powell, one of the most e-e-evil movie characters of all time. He travels from town to town and seduces widows by acting religious. Then he kills them and steals their money. While in prison, his condemned cellmate had stolen a large sum of money, so he tracks down the surviving family members - Shelley Winters plays the mother, and there's two kids, played by Billy Chapin and Sally Jane Bruce - and tries to steal the money.

It's really only about two-thirds of a great film. It starts out really suspenseful and dramatic, but then... I won't spoil the ending, but in my opinion the movie comes to a screeching halt the moment Lillian Gish's character shows up. Total deus ex machina. Oh well, can't win 'em all.

Position on the list: 176
And then we watched a Simpsons episode: Cape Feare, which has a lot of references to this movie. No one who speaks German could be an evil man!

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