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LD Criterion THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (1955) Lot#3 SEALED CLV Laserdisc [CC1128L Spine 28]
 

LD Criterion THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (1955) Lot#3 SEALED CLV Laserdisc [CC1128L Spine 28]

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Laserdisc Title: "THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER"
Edition: The Criterion Collection (Single Disc)
Directed By: Charles Laughton
Starring: Robert Mitchum, Shelly Winters, Lillian Gish, James Gleason, Evelyn Varden, Peter Graves, Don Beddoe, Billy Chapin, Gloria Castillo
Production / Year: 1955 Paul Gregory Prod. Renewed 1983 United Artists Corp.
Running Time: 92 Minutes / Black & White
Audio Format: Monaural
Video Format: NTSC, CLV (Extended Play)
Miscellaneous Features: Not Rated
Distributed By: The Voyager Company (First Printing 1987)
Catalog / Spine Number: CC1128L (Spine Number 28)

IMPORTANT: This is a 12-inch Diameter Laserdisc, which is NOT the same as DVD and cannot be played on a DVD player!

Cosmetic Condition:
Disc (s): UNOPENED / FACTORY SEALED
Jacket: UNOPENED / FACTORY SEALED 

Synopsis:

In the entire history of American movies, The Night of the Hunter stands out as the rarest and most exotic of specimens. It is, to say the least, a masterpiece--and not just because it was the only movie directed by flamboyant actor Charles Laughton or the only produced solo screenplay by the legendary critic James Agee (who also cowrote The African Queen).

The truth is, nobody has ever made anything approaching its phantasmagoric, overheated style in which German expressionism, religious hysteria, fairy-tale fantasy (of the Grimm-est variety), and stalker movie are brought together in a furious boil. Like a nightmarish premonition of stalker movies to come, Night of the Hunter tells the suspenseful tale of a demented preacher (Robert Mitchum, in a performance that prefigures his memorable villain in Cape Fear), who torments a boy and his little sister--even marries their mixed-up mother (Shelley Winters)--because he's certain the kids know where their late bank-robber father hid a stash of stolen money. So dramatic, primal, and unforgettable are its images--the preacher's shadow looming over the children in their bedroom, the magical boat ride down a river whose banks teem with fantastic wildlife, those tattoos of LOVE and HATE on the unholy man's knuckles, the golden locks of a drowned woman waving in the current along with the indigenous plant life in her watery grave--that they're still haunting audiences (and filmmakers) today.

There is just so much going on in this film: biblical references and symbolism; Freudian symbolism (Powell's knife brandished in a couple of scenes as a warped version of a phallic symbol); Mitchum's and Gish's amazing performances; various other, interesting, smaller storylines; a scene reminiscent of "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1919); Powell's tattoos of "Love" and "Hate" on his knuckles; and the dream-like, surreal riverboat escape sequence. The children, played by Billy Chapin (John Harper) and Sally Jane Bruce (Pearl Harper) give effective performances, although Bruce reminds me of Christina Ricci as a child in one of her Addams Family roles - creepy. There's also the over-the-top campiness in some of Mitchum's acting, which fits in perfectly with the stylized direction of the film; the sexual undercurrent and its repression that runs throughout (and no one played whiny, sexual frustration in those days better than Shelley Winters, as evidenced by this and other roles such as the mother in "Lolita" (1962):

THIS IS NOT A DVD!!! THIS IS A 12" LASERDISC AND WILL NOT PLAY IN A DVD PLAYER

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