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Mel's Desert Island Classics

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Another film I want on the Island with me....

A friend introduced me to Charles Laughton's Night of the Hunter a few years ago, and I found it both strange and compelling. It is not to be confused with Night of the Iguana, Day of the Jackal, Night of the Jaguar, or Dawn of the Dead! Night of the Hunter is a suspenseful moral tale, with great black and white film techniques such as Laughton's use of silhouette and almost 2-D backdrops. A thief dies, leaving his family alone, but not before mentioning hidden treasure to his cell-mate. Only his little girl knows where it's hidden, and very soon a charismatic preacher (Robert Mitchum) arrives to woo the dead man's wife (Shelley Winters) and raise the son and daughter. Mitchum's character becomes increasingly controlling and violent, and while the town loves the charming false prophet, we see him through the terrified children's eyes. When his motives become clear, they flee for their lives in a rowboat.


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