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Daniel Corleone's Movie Reviews (1781)

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The Night of the Hunter 
The Night of the Hunter review
3/4 stars

"Children are man at his strongest." Ben Harper (Peter Graves) is about to get caught and hanged for his crime. Before the police arrive, he leaves a message to his children to John (Billy Chapin) and Pearl (Sally Jane Bruce). Reverend Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) marries Ben's wife and tries to persuade his kids. Rachel Cooper (Lillian Gish) takes care of the little ones after they escape from an encounter with Powell.

The screenplay, one of its highlights, was effective and not too preachy. Had some very clever lines like "The right hand, friends, the hand of love. Now watch, and I'll show you the story of life. Those fingers, dear hearts, is always a-warring and a-tugging...Now watch 'em! Old brother left hand, left hand he's a fighting, and it looks like love's a goner. But wait a minute! Hot dog, love's a winning! Yessirree! It's love that's won, and old left hand hate is down for the count!" and "There's too many of them. I can't kill the world." from Harry. The cinematography was gorgeous, Mitchum convincing, support were good and soundtrack applicable. Only minor qualms this critic had were the pace, believability, lack of background of the deranged Powell and a better conclusion. Not as thrilling and suspenseful enough, though it was creepy. The Night of the Hunter was good in portraying evil, blasphemy, values, children's innocence, respect for women and love.


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