The Night of the Hunter The Night of the Hunter

The Night of the Hunter

Charles Laughton

 
The Night of the Hunter (Criterion Blu-Ray)

Blu-Ray

2 Discs

SRP: $49.95

Criterion Store price:$39.96

+ Add to Cart
  • United States
  • 1955
  • 93 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.66:1
  • English
  •  
  • Spine #541

The Night of the Hunter—incredibly, the only film the great actor Charles Laughton ever directed—is truly a stand-alone masterwork. A horror movie with qualities of a Grimm fairy tale, it stars a sublimely sinister Robert Mitchum as a traveling preacher named Harry Powell (he of the tattooed knuckles), whose nefarious motives for marrying a fragile widow, played by Shelley Winters, are uncovered by her terrified young children. Graced by images of eerie beauty and a sneaky sense of humor, this ethereal, expressionistic American classic—also featuring the contributions of actress Lillian Gish and writer James Agee—is cinema’s most eccentric rendering of the battle between good and evil.

Cast

Preacher Harry PowellRobert Mitchum
Willa HarperShelley Winters
Miss CooperLillian Gish
Uncle Birdie SteptoeJames Gleason
Icey SpoonEvelyn Varden
Ben HarperPeter Graves
Mr. SpoonDon Beddoe
John HarperBilly Chapin
Pearl HarperSally Jane Bruce
RubyGloria Castillo

Credits

DirectorCharles Laughton
From the novel byDavis Grubb
ScreenplayJames Agee
MusicWalter Schumann
PhotographyStanley Cortez
Art directionHilyard Brown
EditingRobert Golden

Disc 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
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring new essays by critics Terrence Rafferty and Michael Sragow

    New cover by Eric Skillman

Film Essays

Downriver and Heavenward with James Agee

By Michael Sragow November 18, 2010

In Charles Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter, terror and tenderness grapple with each other as profoundly as the words HATE and LOVE when they’re tattooed, one per hand, across the knuckles of . . . Read more »


Film Essays

The Night of the Hunter: Holy Terror

By Terrence Rafferty November 16, 2010

The Night of the Hunter (1955)—the first film directed by Charles Laughton and also, sadly, the last—is among the greatest horror movies ever made, and perhaps, of that select company, the most . . . Read more »


Film Essays

The Night of the Hunter

By David Ehrenstein February 01, 1988

“It’s really a nightmarish sort of Mother Goose tale we are telling,” Charles Laughton has said of The Night of the Hunter. But, as anyone who has seen this extraordinary film knows, its maker’s . . . Read more »

Photo Galleries


Photo Galleries


Performances


Three Reasons


Press Notes

Press Notes: 2010—One Last Look

January 03, 2011

Before we put 2010 to bed, we thought we’d catch up with all the year-end lists that have sprung up over the past week or so. A good place to start is DVD Beaver’s annual poll, which ranks the . . . Read more »


Press Notes

Press Notes: Looking Back at 2010

December 22, 2010

Sight & Sound’s annual poll of the year’s best DVD (and Blu-ray) releases is out, and this edition features choices from twenty-four “contributors, DVD distributors, and curators.” We’re . . . Read more »


Clippings

Powers’s Picks

December 03, 2010

’Tis the season for DVD gift guides, and critic John Powers is quick out of the gate with a lineup of movie recommendations for NPR’s Fresh Air. Among his top choices are works by two great . . . Read more »


Press Notes

Press Notes: The Night of the Hunter

November 19, 2010

It’s easy to forget that audiences and critics were baffled by Charles Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter, starring Robert Mitchum and Shelley Winters, upon its release in 1955. Yet, as Dennis . . . Read more »


Film Essays

Downriver and Heavenward with James Agee

By Michael Sragow November 18, 2010

In Charles Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter, terror and tenderness grapple with each other as profoundly as the words HATE and LOVE when they’re tattooed, one per hand, across the knuckles of . . . Read more »


Film Essays

The Night of the Hunter: Holy Terror

By Terrence Rafferty November 16, 2010

The Night of the Hunter (1955)—the first film directed by Charles Laughton and also, sadly, the last—is among the greatest horror movies ever made, and perhaps, of that select company, the most . . . Read more »


Clippings

Slate Goes A-Huntin’

November 10, 2010

In a new article for Slate, critic Elbert Ventura digs insightfully into what makes Charles Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter (coming to Criterion Blu-ray and DVD next week) the one-of-a-kind . . . Read more »


Film Essays

The Night of the Hunter

By David Ehrenstein February 01, 1988

“It’s really a nightmarish sort of Mother Goose tale we are telling,” Charles Laughton has said of The Night of the Hunter. But, as anyone who has seen this extraordinary film knows, its maker’s . . . Read more »