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.

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 Batch, Innerspace and Small Soldiers for producer Steven Spielberg. His feature films include The Howling, Piranha, Matinee, The ‘burbs , Looney Tunes Back in Action, The 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 Squad, Amazing Stories, the HBO film The Second Civil War, the Masters of Horror titles Homecoming and The Screwfly Solution, and episodes of Eerie, Indiana, CSI: NY, Hawaii 5-0, Witches of East End, Legends of Tomorrow and Salem. His latest big screen credit is an episode of the upcoming 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!