The Night of the Hunter is Oscar-winning actor Charles Laughton‘s only directorial effort, but boy is it a doozy. Panned by critics and not accepted by audiences when it was released, this film now stands as one of the finest ever made. This badass poster captures the fear, dread and foreboding that oozes out of this film capturing its villain, Harry Powell, played about as frighteningly as possible in 1955 by the one and only Robert Mitchum, perfectly.
This film has influenced some of the best filmmakers in the world and for just reason. Laughton used the German Expressionist films (think The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) as his reference point for the sets and camera angles contributing the scariness of the trek the Harper children must make to get away from Powell.
This film is a must-see and one of the all-time greats. On top of Mitchum, 2-time Oscar-winner Shelley Winters and silent film goddess Lillian Gish also star.
Here’s the trailer: