Joe Dante on

The Night of the Hunter

Released 1955
Distributor United Artists

The only movie directed by Charles Laughton but he made it count. A brilliant mix of heavenly poetry and harrowing horror film, James Agee’s script, seemingly influenced by the New Testament and Jim Thompson, tells the story of a psychotic preacher (played by a terrifying Robert Mitchum) and his unstoppable hunt for some stolen loot. Lillian Gish and Stanley Cortez’s cinematography are the other high points of this perverse but tender thriller.

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About Joe Dante

Joe Dante is a lifelong film buff who turned his obsession into a career. He got his start cutting trailers for Roger Corman and later directed the hit movie Gremlins, as well as Gremlins 2: The New BatchInnerspace and Small Soldiers for producer Steven Spielberg. His feature films include The HowlingPiranhaMatineeThe ‘burbs , Looney Tunes Back in ActionThe Hole (first winner of the 3D Persol Award at the Venice Film Festival) and the zom-com Burying the Ex. His TV directing work includes: Police SquadAmazing Stories, the HBO film The Second Civil War, the Masters of Horror titles Homecoming and The Screwfly Solution, and episodes of Eerie, IndianaCSI: NYHawaii 5-0Witches of East EndLegends of Tomorrow and Salem. His most recent big screen credit is an episode of the anthology film Nightmare Cinema. Joe is also the frequent co-host of Trailers From Hell’s official podcast, The Movies That Made Me, available everywhere podcasts are streamed and downloaded!