One of the most haunting and beautifully shot films ever made, The Night of the Hunter has been given a stunning restoration and is now back in UK cinemas (from 17 January 2014).
Actor Charles Laughton’s only film as a director, adapted from Davis Grubb’s novel, 1955’s The Night of the Hunter tells the tale of a former criminal turned preacher Powell (played by Robert Mitchum in a career-best performance) who marries the mother (Shelley Winters) of his former cellmate in a bid to get his hands on some stolen money. But standing in his way are two innocent children and an elderly woman, played by former silent screen star Lillian Gish.
Laughton was hugely influenced by the silent masterpieces in which Gish herself starred, and his use of light and shadows – made all the more expressive thanks to Stanley Cortez‘s expressive black-and-white cinematography – gives a dream-like fairy tale quality to a highly original and now much-heralded work that is so ripe for audiences to rediscover on the big-screen.
For more on this film, read our full review on Arrow’s 2013 Blu-ray restoration release