Monday, April 27, 2009

4/25/09: The Night of the Hunter (1955)

In The Night of the Hunter, Robert Mitchum needs to be mesmerizing—both to us in the audience and to his fellow characters, whom he charms with his fake-preacher shtick. Dressed up like a man of God, the despicable Harry Powell (Mitchum) is really a psychopath in search of some stolen loot. His trail leads to two small children, John and Pearl, who have the cash hidden in a toy doll—and Powell will stop and nothing to get his uniquely tattooed fingers on it. Employing a pleasant, sing-songy voice to lure in the confidence of his "flock," Powell's mood can turn fiery at the drop of a hat if he doesn't get what he wants. It's a chilling and suspenseful yarn up until the end, which contains a number of poorly conceived and bizarrely executed elements. Blame director Charles Laughton, whose only film as a director this was. But the rest of the movie is a fine thriller. Rating: 4/5.

No comments: