Tag Archives: Robert Mitchum

Night of the Hunter a visual treat

The Classic Hollywood System is typified by films like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Casablanca, and The Wolf Man, where a kiss implied sex, the sound of a gunshot with dramatic music implied death, and Clark Gable’s famous line in Gone with the Wind was scandalous.  It’s the reason your grandparents complain about modern films being too dirty, thanks to the films they saw under the censorship of the  Hays Code (as opposed to milder censorship through the MPAA).  The code forbade nudity, exiled homosexuals, and put restrictions on the ways in which institutional authority could be depicted.  Which is what makes Night of the Hunter (1955), a tale in which parents and other adults in the community fail to protect two children from a widow-killing preacher, stand out as a haunting horror thriller. Continue reading

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