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The Night of the Hunter [Paperback]

Simon Callow

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Book Description

Jan. 22 2008 BFI Film Classics (Book 59)
This is an examination of "The Night of the Hunter", Charles Laughton's only outing as a film director. It looks at the symbolism of the piece, at Willa, her throat cut sitting in the Model-T Ford, and the Preacher, a silhouetted threat on the horizon.

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Review

"A comprehensive and attractive study that offers real insight." -- Hotdog

"Simon Callow writes with ease and insight." -- The Observer

"[A] clean, forward-moving account of [The Night of the Hunter's] origins and creation." -- Uncut

About the Author

Simon Callow is one of Britain's foremost stage and film actors. He has written acclaimed biographies of Charles Laughton and Orson Welles.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Of all the collaborative arts, film is the most complex, owing the most to the greatest number of people, a river into which many streams flow. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Oct. 10 2004
By Michael Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A fascinating book about an equally fascinating and very under-rated movie. I don't remember where or when I first saw "The Night of the Hunter," but I do remember being scared, horrified and thrilled all at the same time. As was usually the case when he played a villan, Robert Mitchum was terrifying as he roamed off in the distance as a silhouette on horseback (which, by the way was actually a stand-in midget riding a donkey -- now THAT's creepy!). And the rest of the cast, including the great Lillian Gish and the incomparable Shelley Winters, as well as the two child actors, is absolutly steller; not to mention that this movie was Charles Laughton's one and only (unfortuately) foray into directing. My reason for spending so much time praising the movie is that this book deserves equal praise for bringing the movie back so vividly to the reader. Again, it's a fascinating read -- and in some ways, almost as spooky as the movie. All of the books in the BFI Film Classics series that I've read are wonderful, and this is one of the best. Go get it!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good--but Flawed June 10 2008
By Terri Fawn Howard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Simon Callow's "The Night of the Hunter" is a fairly engrossing and respectable addition to the BFI Film Classics series, though I have to admit that it's not without its problems. After a brief introductory section, Callow delves at length into David Grubb's novel in order to illuminate how Laughton's excellent film closely mirrors the novelist's work. Also, we're given information concerning Laughton's acting career. As distinguished and idiosyncratic as it was, this inclusion, like the extensive quoting from the novel, takes up valuable space. And since Laughton does no acting in the film, it's somewhat superfluous. Be that as it may, Callow goes on to provide a thorough recounting of the collaborative process surrounding the making of "The Night of the Hunter", which falls soundly within the realm of pertinence. Unfortunately, there's scant discussion about the actual film itself as a completed entity, which brought to mind Schickel's BFI monograph on "Double Indemnity". The 'Reputation' segment is good, with comments from diverse critics. Callow finally hits his stride in 'Coda: A View', which contains a brief, if more or less in-depth commentary about the film.
Overall, I liked this book. But, for me, it lacks the zest and infectious passion of, say, Jim Kitses' "Gun Crazy", and the analytic ferocity of, for example, David Rudkin's "Vampyr".
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Decent Read Dec 11 2011
By Kevin S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book has small font and can be hard to read because of this but has a lot of great information about the movie and reads like a documentary that provides information from many different perspectives.
5.0 out of 5 stars Adds to the Grubb Knowledge Base Dec 15 2013
By P. J. Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is informative and well written. I'm a Grubb fan and learned more than I expected about the making of the film and Grubb's contributions to the effort.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting story about the making of the movie! July 9 2013
By M. Cacace - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you enjoyed watching this movie and want to know more about it, this is a great book! It also shows just how much of a genius director Charles Laughton really was!
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