For Christmas last year, I recieved a book called The Greatest Movies Ever by Gail Kinn and Jim Piazza. To be honest, I was inspired by Julie and Julia and decided to go through the book and blog about the films that I watch. These are the movies that those who know about film say are the best and I wanted to see what I would think. So, I watch and I write. If you want to comment, I would love to know what you think or if you have an suggestions for me. Here's the list....
*I may also add some random movies that I feel strongly about.
#56 The Night of the Hunter 1955
The Night of the Hunter is probably one of the most bizarre movies I have ever seen. It went from beening perfectly effective to being laughable and back. The concept of the film is intriguing and terrifying. It's about an intensely religious "preacher" who infiltrated the family of his cellmate in order to find the cellmate's hidden $10,000. The preacher, Harry Powell, is played by Robert Mitchem. The only other thing that I've seen Robert Mitchem in Cape Fear, so now I am convinced that he is the scariest person ever. His performance in perfect because plays that character as a ruthless, heartless man that really inspired fear every time he appeared on screen. Other stars were Shelley Winters, who played the mother of the family. Her performance was mediocre in my opinion, plus the character was 98% impossible to like. Lillian Gish portrayed a sort of adoptive mother for the children. She was wonderful as the rough around the edged mother of five. She was also the women in the movie that showed any strength. All the rest of the female characters were dim witted and flakey, so I was relieved to see that at least one woman in the film could hold her own. As for the direction, there were a few really excellent shots, particularly those that displayed the silhouette, which became a symbol of danger for the rest of the movie. There is one scene of Shelley Winters, who evenually gets killed and tied to a sunken Model T, floating still in the water with the fishing hook her son had used creeping around her body. The shot sends a shiver down your spine, its so creepy. But, the fisherman looking down from the boat can see the body as clearly as if it were in a clorinated pool instead of a dirty lake. I ended up laughing in spite of the horrible nature of the scene.
In conclusion, The Night of the Hunter was a good movie, but not one of the best I have ever seen by any means. Although Robert Mitchem's performance as a psychopathic, creepy, murderous step-dad was wonderful, Shelley Winters overacted ridiculously and was very annoying. There were also some reaction shots that were funny instead of severe. I'm glad I watched it becasue it was definitely like nothing I had seen before, but I won't be watching it again anytime soon.