Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Night of the Hunter (1955): review: 10/10

A man steals some money and, before he is given the death penalty, tells his young son to keep it hidden and its location secret.

A dishonest preacher, having shared a cell with the thief, knows about the money, but not where it is hidden. On leaving jail the preacher inveigles his way into the thief's widow's life, marrying her, with a view to locating the money.

The film is imaginatively shot and not humourless despite its dark themes. The acting, even of the children, is excellent.

A considerable amount of time is given to the role of women in small town society, and their relations with alternatively charismatic or subservient men. The film also dwells largely on the uses of scripture and of religious values.

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