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Poster for Cult 101: The Night of the Hunter (1955)
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Cult 101: The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Opens on March 1

Director: Charles Laughton Run Time: 93 min. Release Year: 1955

Starring: Billy Chapin, Lillian Gish, Robert Mitchum, Sally Jane Bruce, Shelley Winters

Country: United States
Language: English

Cult 101 at Gateway Film Center

A celebration of the best cult films of all time.

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About the film:

A tall, handsome “preacher” – his knuckles eerily tattooed with “love” and “hate” – roams the countryside, spreading the gospel and leaving a trail of murdered women in his wake. To Reverend Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum), the work of the Lord has more to do with condemning souls than saving them, especially when his own interests are involved. Now his sights are set on $10,000, and two little children are the only ones who know where it is.

“among the greatest horror movies ever made”

—Terrence Rafferty, Criterion

About the filmmaker:

Charles Laughton was a prolific British-American actor and director. He studied performing arts at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, and soon after had his stage debut in a production of the Government Inspector. After spending time on the stage in both London and New York, Laughton began his Hollywood acting career in the horror classic The Old Dark House (1932). His true breakout role, however, was as King Henry VII in The Private Life of Henry VII (1933), a performance for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. The Night of the Hunter (1955) was Laughton’s first and final film as director, and while it was a flop upon initial release, it has since been hailed as one of the greatest films of the 1950s, and has been selected for preservation by the National Film Registry.

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