Alissa. Former child. Movie enthusiast. Terrible bio writer.

The Night of the Hunter (1955)

The stylistic film, shot in only thirty-six days - an adult story with children as major characters, was extremely unusual and unpopular for its time. It was black and white (when color was en vogue), shown in standard ratio (when theaters were showing Cinemascope wide-screen films), and it daringly portrayed a perverted, pedophile Preacher as the main protagonist - a villainous, obsessive, homicidal, and misogynous character with repressed sexuality and violence.

The high-contrast, melodramatic-horror film with macabre humor deliberately pays tribute to its silent film heritage, and to pioneering director D. W. Griffith in its style (the use of stark, expressionistic black and white cinematography, archaic camera devices such as iris down) and in its casting of Griffith’s principal protegé/silent star, the legendary Lillian Gish (in her first film since Portrait of Jennie (1948)). Told with inventive, stylized, timeless and dark film noirish images, symbolism and visual poetry, it blends both a pastoral setting with dream-like creatures, fanatical characters, imperiled children during a river journey, a wicked guardian/adult, and salvation and redemption in the form of a old farm woman, ‘fairy godmother’ rather than a saintly Bible-totin’ Preacher. In Laughton’s words, it was “a nightmarish sort of Mother Goose tale.”

From its start, the film is designed to have the special feeling of a child’s nightmare, including the difficult keeping of a secret, and a magical journey to safety - all told from a child’s point of view. It also accentuates the contrasting, elemental dualities within the film: heaven and earth (or under-the-earth), male and female, light and dark, good and evil, knowingness and innocence, and other polarizations including equating the Preacher with the devil. (x)

  1. taylorbayles reblogged this from michellewilliamss
  2. classickat reblogged this from deanmartiann
  3. nookienostradamus reblogged this from laughingacademy
  4. laughingacademy reblogged this from ohthatsloverly
  5. resnais reblogged this from michellewilliamss
  6. silverscreencorner reblogged this from deanmartiann
  7. deanmartiann reblogged this from ohthatsloverly
  8. ohthatsloverly reblogged this from michellewilliamss
  9. mads-mikkelsenss reblogged this from clarabows
  10. bannedlibrary reblogged this from madamebrovary
  11. madamebrovary reblogged this from lolableu
  12. lolableu reblogged this from popfilm
  13. the-mrsrobinson reblogged this from popfilm
  14. popfilm reblogged this from michellewilliamss
  15. yotb0ka reblogged this from clarabows
  16. just-keep-sailing reblogged this from michellewilliamss
  17. devisthegreatst reblogged this from thelittlefreakazoidthatcould
  18. leoness reblogged this from thelittlefreakazoidthatcould
  19. larmoyer reblogged this from thelittlefreakazoidthatcould
  20. desvariosdeunajamesdean reblogged this from thelittlefreakazoidthatcould
  21. kquigssssss reblogged this from thelittlefreakazoidthatcould
  22. thelittlefreakazoidthatcould reblogged this from retrobloke
Theme by Septim