Halloween feature 50 days, 50 slays! Day 18 A Childs Nightmare THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER

Time again for the annual conversation about Charles Laughton’s masterful THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER. Now I am not going to run along the roads of it being his only film, no its use of expressionism, nor will I speak of its use and abuse of perspective. I will however speak about this release from Criterion and why this needs to be in anyone’s Halloween viewing, if they like me, love classic cinema and classic horror cinema. For this is what it is. Horror.

18 – THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (CRITERION COLLECTION)

WHATS IT ABOUT?

Preacher from the Southern states Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) is a traveling preacher with tattooed knuckles and brandished bible. His plight to spread the good word, is mixed with a devious motive to uncover money that was hidden after a robbery went wrong. He marries a widow (Shelley Winters), who has two young children. They smell something off about him but he is on to them. When they work out what he wants, he works out that they know more then they let on.

WHY SHOULD WE WATCH IT FOR HALLOWEEN?

There is a gothic horror quality to THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER. The film is as much the modernisation of a Grimm fairy tale, turning Mitchum’s Powell into a boogie man that is equally disturbed creature of the night and monstrous apparition of evil. This makes the film  tinged with eerie beauty and jet black humour. Clever in tone and handling from Laughton, it leaves the viewer with a sinister sense of foreboding. Delightful for a cold winter night.

WHAT SHOULD WE LOOK OUT FOR?

The Night of the Hunter was restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive. It has really come into its own indeed. Now this is not the only high point of the film but it is really the most apparent change that makes the film really sing on the screen.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • New digital transfer made from 35 mm film elements restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive in cooperation with MGM Studios, with funding provided by the Film Foundation and Robert Sturm, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary featuring second-unit director Terry Sanders, film critic F. X. Feeney, archivist Robert Gitt, and author Preston Neal Jones
  • Charles Laughton Directs “The Night of the Hunter,” a two-and-a-half-hour treasure trove of outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage
  • New documentary featuring interviews with producer Paul Gregory, Sanders, Feeney, Jones, and author Jeffrey Couchman
  • New video interview with Laughton biographer Simon Callow
  • Clip from the The Ed Sullivan Show in which cast members perform a scene deleted from the film
  • Fifteen-minute episode of the BBC show Moving Pictures about the film
  • Archival interview with cinematographer Stanley Cortez
  • Gallery of sketches by author Davis Grubb, author of the source novel
  • New video conversation between Gitt and film critic Leonard Maltin about Charles Laughton Directs
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: New essays by critics Terrence Rafferty and Michael Sragow

BUY IT NOW

https://store.hmv.com/store/film-tv/blu-ray/the-night-of-the-hunter-the-criterion-collection?gclid=Cj0KCQjw-4SLBhCVARIsACrhWLWd3K8UY6mZyzGkT-UuFvvHd8ro_yYlmw7F3Re1YoZzlorfXVmz2kgaAjaZEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

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