|22nd April 2018|
A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he’d stolen in a robbery.
Adapted by James Agee from a novel by Davis Grubb, The Night of the Hunter represented legendary actor Charles Laughton’s only film directing credit. Combining stark realism with Germanic expressionism, the movie is a brilliant good-and-evil parable, with “good” represented by a couple of farm kids and a pious old lady, and “evil” literally in the hands of a posturing psychopath.
The Rev. Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) is a religious fanatic and serial killer who targets women who use their sexuality to attract men. Serving time in prison for car theft, he meets condemned murderer Ben Harper (Peter Graves), who confesses to hiding $10,000 in stolen loot. Released from jail, Powell is obsessed with finding the money, and he tracks down Harper’s widow, Willa (Shelley Winters), and her two children, John (Billy Chapin) and Pearl (Sally Jane Bruce). Eventually all that stands between Powell and the money are Ben’s children who take refuge in a home for abandoned children presided over by the indomitable, scripture-quoting Rachel Cooper (Lillian Gish). The war of wills between Mitchum and Gish is the heart of the film’s third act, a masterful blend of horror and lyricism. Overlooked on its first release, The Night of the Hunter is now regarded as a cinema classic.
Doors open 2.15pm, Film 2.30pm, Close 5.00pm
Refreshments: Popcorn and ice-creams will be available in the cinema. Mirth’s bar will also be open.
Tickets: £7.50/£5.50 concession (senior citizens, unwaged, students)