Saturday, April 09, 2011

The Hidden Hunter - Night of The Hunter

Ed here: Thanks to Terry Butler for this link

The hidden hunter - The Guardian

The classic Night of the Hunter is rumoured to have been a poisonous film to shoot. Can the restored outtakes reveal what really went on? By Robert Gitt

Robert Gitt
The Guardian, Friday 6 June 2003

I first saw The Night of the Hunter on late-night television in Hanover, Pennsylvania, in the summer of 1959, just after graduation from high school. At that time, it was still fairly rare to see a recent film on American TV, but it wasn't the newness of the film, or the presence of big stars like Robert Mitchum and Shelley Winters that made my parents look forward to seeing the film with such excitement. It was the information that Lillian Gish was in the cast. My mother and father were older than most of my friends' parents (my father had been born at the end of the 19th century), and they had the fondest memories of and greatest respect for Gish from their youthful moviegoing experiences.

The film was a revelation to my parents and to me. It was not only Gish's great performance and the fine work by the rest of the cast, but also the audacious storytelling techniques that made me immediately fall in love with The Night of the Hunter. And what a surprise it was that the great actor Charles Laughton, of all people, had actually directed this bizarre, frightening and amazing film.

Fifteen years later, in the summer of 1974, it was a great thrill to visit Laughton's widow, Elsa Lanchester, at her home in Hollywood. I was working for the American Film Institute in Washington, DC, and fellow archivist Anthony Slide and I had been sent by curator Larry Karr to retrieve the many boxes of photographs, sketches, memos and letters relating to The Night of the Hunter that Lanchester had agreed to turn over to the AFI for deposit at the Library of Congress.

For the rest go here:


Ron Scheer said...

Thanks, Ed. Would love to see this program. UCLA has been doing wonders with film preservation, and living close by I've been able to see some of their work.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Wonderful story and link. I was very young when I saw Night of the Hunter and had nightmares for years. (Always saw those LOVE and HATE tats.)

Thanks for this.


pattinase (abbott) said...

The new cut has been playing at an art house here but I don't think I can ever watch it again. Anything with kids in jeopardy is hard for me to watch. Those hands still enter my dreams too.

Jeff P said...

Loved the film, seeing these outtakes would be fascinating.

However, I loved Davis Grubb's novel even more than the film. Wonderful, wonderful work.