• By David Hollingsworth
    June 23, 2011
    05:20 PM

    All of your reasons plus: 1) One of my favorite films of all-time. 2) One of the most groundbreakingly unique works of art in film history. 3) Some of the most expressive, poetic, visionary images I've ever seen in a film. My cheats: 4) The welcome return of Lillian Gish. 5) Laughton's sublime masterpiece, and unfortunately, his only directorial effort.
  • By Matthias Galvin
    June 24, 2011
    12:41 PM

    1. The shadows 2. The silence 3. The children
  • By Jason Michael
    June 24, 2011
    02:53 PM

    Mesmerizingly Magnificent Mitchum
    • By Steve P.
      November 17, 2014
      08:45 AM

      He even looks like the real killer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Powers
  • By Aaron Buckles
    June 24, 2011
    09:02 PM

  • By LJ
    July 02, 2011
    08:12 PM

    1. Laughton's direction (a true masterpiece) 2. The sublime cinematography of Crotez 3. Robert Mitchum (LOVE + HATE) Cheat 4. The river sequence 5. The children 6. Lillian Gish (and her shotgun)
  • By LJ
    July 02, 2011
    08:25 PM

    Sorry, misspelled Stanley Cortez.
  • By Dennis Polifroni
    August 18, 2011
    03:10 AM

    1. The perfect, almost hallucinatory direction by Charles Laughton (he should have directed other films-a real shame). 2. The cinematography of Stanley Cortez (his best since THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS-a film that is screaming for a CRITERION treatment) and the lullabye-like music of Walter Schumann 3. The career BEST performance of Robert Mitchum (just inching out his turns in OUT OF THE PAST-which CRITERION should do-and CAPE FEAR-far superior to that misfire by Scorsese and DeNiro-the original film should also be done by CRITERION), not to mention spectacular turns by Shelly Winters and Peter Graves and an amazingly angelic performance by the radiant and always welcomed LILLIAN GISH
  • By dasboot4211
    November 08, 2011
    02:54 PM

    1-Frightening 2-Scary as anyone's nightmare could be 3- Robert Mitchum
  • By Maurice Gianesin
    December 02, 2011
    04:56 PM

    everybody hates a hypocrite everybody hates someone who preys on weakness everybody hates someone with a false sense of pride
  • By Ned McNenney
    October 18, 2012
    01:06 PM

    One, two and three: Because Mitchum is all about the poon at 0:24.
  • By Felipe Nápoles - October 24, 2012. 2:46 PM
    October 24, 2012
    02:51 PM

    Very few today are aware of the significance of the film work of the sublime actress Lilllian Gish, from her humble beginnings at the Biograph studios in New York City, in many one and two reels short films directed by the masterful D.W. Griffith, and in all the following great pioneering Griffith masterpieces where she participated, to her later return to films incarnating the magic lady, "the old tree with many branches" poignant role she played in Charles Laughton´s unforgettable only film, "The Night of the Hunter", a true American classic, without forgetting her tour de force when she already was in iher mid-nineties playing the sister to Bette Davis in "The Whates of August" and her brief but unforgettable magical appearance in her wonderful scene by the window listening to the birds singing in the morning as very sensibly and magically caught by the also unforgettable American film director Robert Altman in ¨"A Wedding".
    • By Bill B.
      October 25, 2012
      01:23 PM

      Agree on all counts, Felipe. Gish's performance in The Night of the Hunter works so beautifully on so many levels: delicate strength, innate goodness, and the ability to recognize and thwart evil.
  • By Moviefan777
    December 26, 2012
    11:11 PM

    1. Grimm's Fairy Tale And Edgar Allan Pole Horror Story 2. Good Wins Over Evil! :) 3. Charles Laughton's Directing 4. Lillain Gish. (deep sigh as in having a crush)
    • By Gord
      December 27, 2012
      12:51 PM

      I think you misunderstand the concept of 3. And 4. :)
    • By Moviefan777
      August 12, 2013
      10:36 AM

      Okay. Here's my revised update: 1. Grimm's Fairy Tale meeting Edgar Allan Poe Horror Story at a German Expressionist party. 2. A hard look at the battle of good and evil. 3. Lilian Gish, Shelley Winters, and Robert Mitchum's great performances. 4. It's scary as heck! :) 5. Why didn't Charles Laughton direct any more films?
  • By Vince C.
    July 29, 2014
    02:53 PM

    Where to begin? Everyone's reasons, including CC's, are dead on. But I'll try to narrow mine down to individual moments I first think of when I remember this film: 1. Mitchum chasing the children up the basement stairs like Frankenstein's monster. 2. Shelley Winters' character at the bottom of the lake, her hair streaming with the weeds. 3. The small life forms on the riverbank as the children float by.