Welcome to another edition of Friday Flix. This week we’re going way back to good old 1955, although the movie itself is set during the American Great Depression. Come along with me through the film that is The Night of the Hunter.
Like suspenseful movies? This one won’t disappoint. I still get the heebie jeebies even with how old it is and that I’ve seen it a few times. This well-written story that stands the test of time. It’s available to watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime and probably your local video store—if you still have one.
It stars a bunch of people you probably don’t know, including Robert Mitchum, Shelly Winters, and a guy you may have heard of, Peter Graves. The two kids who also star in the film are decent actors but I don’t think went on to do much else.
And as usual, here comes my SPOILER ALERT.
I don’t intend to give everything away, but for those who don’t like to hear anything before they watch a movie, you’ve been warned. And now a movie plot description from IMDB.com:
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.
The film opens in a strangely wonderful way with an older woman quoting scripture about wolves in sheep’s clothing. You see the smiling, innocent faces of several children, somehow protected and safe with this mysterious woman. As she’s describing knowing the evil deed doers by their fruits, we cut to a scene of children discovering a dead body.
Already we’ve received foreshadow that innocence will be lost in this story. And we see the dastardly fruit of the evil doer right before we meet him.
Enter our faux-preacher Harry Powell who is immediately trying to justify his actions to God and us by pointing to things he sees as evil. We realize he believes he’s doing the world a favor.
This is the beginnings of a complex character. He’s supposed to be a preacher, someone you think you can trust, but he’s not. He even tries sounding like a preacher, talking to God as though God justifies his actions. He is already that wolf in sheep’s clothing.
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