"It's a hard world for little things."
Charles Laughton is most known for his larger than life performances in films from the 30s through the 60s, but he did have one chance to direct which came in the form of 1955’s The Night of the Hunter, a film he also co-wrote with James Agee based on the novel by Davis Grubb. Unfortunately for him, the film was a huge flop. Luckily for us, this quirky anomaly of a film has not only survived but has thrived — it is now critically praised and generally considered to be a classic film. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our Couples on the Run series with Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter. We talk about our impressions of the film, why it works, and what are some of its potential stumbling blocks in connecting with audiences. We chat about the amazing performances, from Billy Chapin and Sally Jane Bruce playing the two kids on the run to Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters and Lillian Gish, the three adults heading up the film. We discuss the look of the film and how it contributes to the unique vibe Laughton was going for, whether by using silent film techniques or film noir lighting styles. And we talk about the overall tone of the film — from horror to noir to comedy to fairy tale etc. — and how that helps give the film a unique tone not often seen in films. It truly is a wholly unique and special film, and we have a great time talking about it. Tune in!
- Original theatrical trailer
- Original poster artwork
- Night of the Hunter — Davis Grubb
- Heaven & Hell to Play With: The Filming of The Night of the Hunter — Preston Neal Jones
- The Night of the Hunter (BFI Film Classics) — Simon Callow
- The Night of the Hunter: A Biography of a Film — Jeffrey Couchman
- Film Score by Walter Schumann
Trailers of the Week
Pete’s Pick: “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a collision for me. The Thurber story is particularly special, and Stiller’s treatment judging from this trailer is the nuanced and mature approach I want out of it, all due respect to Danny Kaye.”
Andy’s Pick: “Bad Milo! looks like an over-the-top horror comedy about a man with an E.T.-like demon that comes out of his butt. I picked it because it looks crazy, the Duplass brothers are producing it, and it reminds me a bit of How to Get Ahead in Advertising, which I really love.”
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