The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Director: Charles Laughton

Writer: James Agee (Screenplay) Davis Grubb (Novel)

Starring: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, James Gleason, Evelyn Varden

 

Plot: 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.


Tagline – The Hands Of ROBERT MITCHUM in “The Night of the Hunter”

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic

 

Story: The Night of the Hunter starts as we meet religious con man Harry Powell (Mitchum) who meets soon to be executed prisoner Ben Harper (Graves) who has hidden $10,000 after a robbery gone bad. Harry sets out to meet the widow Willa (Winters) so he can take the money, but the only people who know where the money is are the children John and Pearl.

When Harry proves just how far he will go for the money the kids must escape him before he takes the money leaving them high and dry, the question remains, can they stay ahead of Harry.

 

Thoughts on The Night of the Hunter

 

Characters – Harry Powell is a religious conman, he moves from town to town preying on the religious beliefs while looking for rich widows he can take for everything. Harry knows how to play people into believing everything he says which is why he is successful in his actions. Willa is the latest widow Harry sets his sights on because of the money hidden by her late husband, she believes what he preaches when it comes to dealing with God and purpose in life.

PerformancesRobert Mitchum is full of the menace for this leading role, he shows how manipulative his character is with every scene he is in. Shelley Winters is good in this role while it is the child stars that shine at times in this film.

StoryThe story follows a conman on his latest attempt to make a quick buck off a struggling family. This becomes a battle for one up each other between the kids and Harry which is entertaining to see, as we learn just how determined Harry is and how the kids will not stop working together when they lose their father.

CrimeThe crime side of the story is following Harry and his actions to make sure he gets the money he desires, we see how calculated he is when looking to achieve this.

SettingsThe settings show us the simple life the family once lived, but soon the turns into a race to stay alive.


Scene of the Movie –
The escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Seems to skip a few important scenes at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is considered a classic and you can see why because it does give you the idea it helped build a side genre in film, the film has unfortunately been parodied too often to keep the impact it should be making.

 

Overall: One classic that should be seen by all.

Rating

 

 

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Alfred Hitchcock Weekend – The Trouble with Harry (1955)

trobeeDirector: Alfred Hitchcock

Writer: John Michael Hayes (Screenplay) Jack Trevor Story (Novel)

Starring: John Forsythe, Shirley MacLaine, Edmund Gwenn, Mildred Natwick, Mildred Dunnock, Jerry Mathers, Royal Dano, Parker Fennelly, Barry Macollum, Dwight Marfield

 

Plot: The trouble with Harry is that he’s dead, and everyone seems to have a different idea of what needs to be done with his body…

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smart Mystery Comedy

 

Story: The Trouble with Harry starts as Captain Albert Wiles (Gwenn) accidently kills a man known only as Harry. While trying to clean up his accident he runs into a string of visitors to the location it happened. Albert continues to wait for his time to move the body while we meet artist Sam Marlowe (Forsythe) who has been trying to sell his work on the side of the road with no success.

Sam sees the dead body as his latest piece of art and decides to work with Albert to cover up the truth but Jennifer Rogers (MacLaine) just so happens to be the wife of Harry who is tired of her husband. The story takes a twist when it appears that other people could have been involved in the murder.

The Trouble with Harry gives us a comedy that has to deal with covering up a dead body. This film starts with one man need to cover it up before it gets more people involved which builds on the comedy happening through the film as we go through all what should happen both what is a good idea or bad idea. The story does feel like a play which I did find enjoyable to watch.

 

Actor Review

 

John Forsythe: Sam Marlowe is a small town local artists trying to sell his work with little success. He stumbles on the dead body for his latest piece of work an agrees to cover up the death while trying to woo the local single mother Jennifer. John is good in this role nailing all of the scenes he is in.

Shirley MacLaine: Jennifer Rogers I thee newly widowed lady whose husband is in fact the dead body, she is a single mother that wanted to get out of her marriage. She is charmed by Sam and willing to go along with the cover up. Shirley is great in this early role for her showing all of her potential.

Edmund Gwenn: Captain Albert Wiles is the man who believes he kills Harry and decides to cover up the body in his own way dragging more and more people into helping him as he starts to learn who really was involved. Edmund is great in this getting most of the laughs.

Support Cast: The Trouble with Harry has a small supporting cast that all work for the way the story is set working really well with the main cast.

Director Review: Alfred HitchcockMr Hitchcock gives us one of his most unique films that works perfectly completely out of the norm for the legendary director.

 

Comedy: The Trouble with Harry is filled with comical moments throughout the film as the people decide what to do.

Mystery: The Trouble with Harry does keep us wondering where the story will go and what happened to Harry.

Settings: The Trouble with Harry keeps the settings simple with the whole film taking part in a small town like location.

Suggestion: The Trouble with Harry is one to try with the comedy all coming off nicely. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Concept really comes off great.

Worst Part: Comedy might not work for everyone.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $1,2 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline: The UNEXPECTED From HITCHCOCK!

 

Overall: Enjoyable mystery comedy that doesn’t seem to have aged.

Ratingcard