Directed by Charles Laughton • 1955 • United States
Starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish
THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER—incredibly, the only film the great actor Charles Laughton ever directed—is truly a stand-alone masterwork. A horror movie with qualities of a Grimm fairy tale, it stars a sublimely sinister Robert Mitchum as a traveling preacher named Harry Powell (he of the tattooed knuckles), whose nefarious motives for marrying a fragile widow, played by Shelley Winters, are uncovered by her terrified young children. Graced by images of eerie beauty and a sneaky sense of humor, this ethereal, expressionistic American classic—also featuring the contributions of actress Lillian Gish and writer James Agee—is cinema’s most eccentric rendering of the battle between good and evil.
Restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive in cooperation with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc., with funding provided by Robert Sturm and The Film Foundation.