Episode 268 – Night of the Hunter (1955)

As we come to the close of our “Walk the Dark Street” series, let us consider hunting. One can hunt for many things: gold, Red October, wascally wabbits . . . but what sort of man does it take to hunt for two adorable children and their cash-filled doll? I’ll tell you what kind: Robert Mitchum’s Preacher in “Night of the Hunter” and here’s hoping there aren’t a lot of his kind of man out there. Brrr. Regardless of what you might think of the movie overall, Mitchum’s performance is remarkable in its intensity and stress-inducement. So join me and Mike as we HUNT for the overall quality of this final film noir in our series (see what I did there? Of course you do. I don’t even know why I bothered to ask. I’m just so tired . . . when I try to sleep, I keep seeing Robert Mitchum standing over my bed, holding a stick of Mitchum deodorant . . . I think I need help).

By the way, to satisfy your burning need to know, “Walk the Dark Street” is the title of a stunningly bad “thriller” starring Chuck “The Rifleman” Connors that sort of tries to be an urban “The Most Dangerous Game.” We watched it; you don’t have to.

Poll question: who or what is the scariest movie character you’ve encountered?

4 thoughts on “Episode 268 – Night of the Hunter (1955)”

  1. I love Night of the Hunter so i am more on the Max end of the than Mike on this one. The cinematography is amazing and robert Mitchum and Lillian gish make it for as they are so well matched as adversaries.

    Scariest movies characters? The xenomorph in Alien scared the crap out of me when i saw it at an advanced preview showing. Part of that would everyone in the theatre thought it would be funny and didn’t have a clue what we were in for. I also found the evil girl with the bad hair in the ring terrifying in the Japanese and American versions. When she came out of the TV in the Japanese version I was already super creeped out but i was not prepared for that effect! I pooped a penguin!

    1. Ah well, it was not a favorite of mine. What can I say? The xeno from “Alien” is a favorite of a lot of people. While I’m not a fan of Giger, I can’t deny the influence that creature has had on cinema. “The Ring” is a movie I’ve avoided as I was sure it would scare the penguins out of me! And see, it did to you as well! Thanks, Vince!

  2. The xeno is definitely up there for me too! As for scariest person, hats off to Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men. Javier Bardem’s performance is so much more grounded than that of most people playing “real” terrifying characters, as it’s very easy to slip into scenery chewing. Similarly, Captain Vidal from Pan’s Labyrinth is the real monster–though the Pale Man (and Pan himself!!) are also nightmarish in their own right.

    On another note completely, I have to second Seven Psychopaths as a great comedy that manages to be more than it appears. The plot sounds stupid (because it is stupid), but Martin McDonagh has a way of finding poetry in a dungheap that I find incredibly compelling, this time about our obsession with violence.

    1. Right there with you on Anton Chigurh (and not just because I have no idea how you pronounce his last name); Barden was just CHILLING in that role. Very cool examples from “Pan’s Labyrinth,” too. Thanks, Lad o’ Cheese!
      So, another recommendation for “Seven Psychopaths.” Intriguing! May have to look into including that in our new series . . . thanks again!

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