The Night Of The Hunter - 1955

Directed by Charles Laughton
Year of release: 1955
Starring:
Robert Mitchum .... Harry Powell
Shelley Winters .... Willa Harper
Lillian Gish .... Rachel Cooper
James Gleason .... Birdie Steptoe
Evelyn Varden .... Icey Spoon
Peter Graves .... Ben Harper
Don Beddoe .... Walt Spoon
Billy Chapin .... John Harper
Sally Jane Bruce .... Pearl Harper
Gloria Castillo .... Ruby (as Gloria Castilo)

A brilliant movie that has inspired Mr.Doctor. As in many movies that inspired Mr.Doctor, this movie has childhood as theme. As known movies like Village of the Damned and The Innocents have this as well. The movie is haunting and frightning and is a real great classic. It tells the story of 2 children who have to hide money their dad stole. Their dad gets arrested for it and gets the death penalty. In jail their father meets a man, a selfappointed priest, who is a serial killer. Robert Mitchum plays this role perfectly and sometimes he makes you shiver as he hunts down the children for the money. The father told him about this. He gets an affair with the childrens mother, who is later killed and he continues his search and in the end is shot by Lillian Gish who plays the role of a saintly good woman who provided refuge for the victimized children. A sample of this movie is used in DIES IRAE! On the bottom of this page you can download some files taken from the movie including the part which is used for Dies Irae with some extra's. A very interesting part of the movie is the story of Love and Hate. On the hands of the priest both Love and Hate are tattooed. The story goes as followed:

H-A-T-E!
(he thrusts up his left hand)
It was with this left hand that old brother
Cain struck the blow that laid his brother low!

L-O-V-E!
(he thrusts up his left hand)
See these here fingers, dear friends! These
fingers has veins that run straight to the soul
of man! The right hand, friends! The hand of
love!


Robert Mitchum's role was inspired by the real-life character of Harry Powers, known nationally as "the Bluebeard of Quiet Dell" (outside of Clarksburg) and West Virginia's most famous mass murderer, who was hanged on March 18, 1932, at the West Virginia Penitentiary. Powers was convicted of killing Asta B. Eicher, a widow, along with her three children, and another widow, Dorothy Lemke of Massachusetts in the early 1930s. He may also have killed a traveling salesman. The menacing figure of The Preacher inspired such characters as The Tall Man (Angus Scrimm) in Phantasm (1979) and (especially) Mr. Dark (Jonathan Pryce) in Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) who similarly stalk their young prey.

All in all a must for every Devil Doll fan.

Sound Samples:

"The Night of the Hunter 1"
"The Night of the Hunter 2"