Harry Powell marries and murders widows for their money, believing he is helping God do away with women who arouse men's carnal instincts. Arrested for auto theft, he shares a cell with condemned killer Ben Harper and tries to get him to reveal the whereabouts of the $10,000 he stole. Only Ben's nine-year-old son, John and four-year-old daughter, Pearl know the money is in Pearl's doll and they have sworn to their father to keep this secret. After Ben is executed, Preacher goes to Cresap's Landing to court Ben's widow, Willa. He overwhelms her with his Scripture quoting, sermons and hymns, and she agrees to marry him...

The film is based on the 1953 novel of the same name by Davis Grubb, adapted for the screen by James Ageeand Laughton. The novel and film draw on the true story of Harry Powers, hanged in 1932 for the murders of two widows and three children in Clarksburg, West Virginia. The movie was filmed in black and white in the styles and motifs of German Expressionism (bizarre shadows, stylized dialogue, distorted perspectives, surreal sets, odd camera angles) to create a simplified and disturbing mood that reflects the sinister character of Powell, the nightmarish fears of the children, and the sweetness of their savior Rachel. The film's lyric and expressionistic style sets it apart from other Hollywood filmsof the 1940s and 50s, and it has influenced later directors such as David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, Terrence Malick, Jim Jarmusch, the Coen brothers, and Spike Lee.
In 1992, The Night of the Hunter was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in its National Film Registry.

Director: Charles Laughton
Writter: James Agee, Charles Laughton, Novel: Davis Grubb
Starring: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish
Running Time: 93min
Country: United States
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8dX6ZKJe2o

Rating: 9,5/10

FREAKS (1932)

A carnival barker displays a sideshow freak called the Feathered Hen and tells her story. Cleopatra, a trapeze artist with the carnival, is adored by a midget named Hans. Frieda, Hans' fiancée (also a midget), warns Hans that Cleopatra is only interested in him so that he will give her money. Cleopatra has an affair with Hercules, and when Frieda lets it slip that Hans is to come into an inheritance, Cleopatra and Hercules plan to get the money be having Cleopatra marry Hans. During the wedding reception, Cleopatra, although openly romantic with Hercules, is accepted by the freaks, but is revolted and mocks them...

The film was based on Tod Robbins' 1923 short story "Spurs"and wirh a cast mostly composed of actual carnival (funfair) performers. Director Browning took the exceptional step of casting real people with deformities as the eponymous sideshow "freaks," rather than using costumes and makeup. Browning had been a member of a traveling circus in his early years, and much of the film was drawn from his personal experiences. In the film, the physically deformed "freaks" are inherently trusting and honorable people, while the real monsters are two of the "normal" members of the circus. Despite the extensive cuts, the film was still negatively received by audiences, and remained an object of extreme controversy. Today, the parts that were removed are considered lost. Because its deformed cast was shocking to moviegoers of the time, the film was banned in the United Kingdom for 30 years.

Director: Tod Browning
Writter: Tod Robbins
Starring: Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova, Henry Victor, Harry Earles
Running Time: Original cut: 90 min., Released cut: 64 min.
Country: United States
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Zf-ah9ZrWM

Rating: 9/10


Architect Walter Craig, seeking the possibility of some work at a country farmhouse, soon finds himself once again stuck in his recurring nightmare. Dreading the end of the dream that he knows is coming, he must first listen to all the assembled guests' own bizarre tales...

This is a British compendium horror film made by Ealing Studios, its various episodes directed by Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden and Robert Hamer. The film is probably best-remembered for the ventriloquist's dummy episode starring Redgrave. Dead of Night stands out from British film of the 1940s, when few genre films were being produced, and it had a huge influence on subsequent British horror films; most particularly, the anthology films produced by Amicus in the 1960s and early 1970s. Both of the segments by John Baines were recycled for later films, and the possessed ventriloquist dummy episode was adapted as an episode of the long-running CBS radio series Escape. It was also used twice by the American television series The Twilight Zone.

Directors: Cavalcanti ("Christmas Party" and "The Ventriloquist's Dummy"), Charles Crichton("Golfing Story"), Basil Dearden ("Hearse Driver" and "Linking Narrative"), Robert Hamer ("The Haunted Mirror")
Writter: H.G. Wells (original story), E.F. Benson (original story), John Baines (original story and screenplay), Angus MacPhail(original story and screenplay)
Starring: Michael Redgrave, Mervyn Johns, Frederick Valk, Roland Culver
Running Time: 102 min.
Country: United Kingdom
Related Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mOIy5U8eaE

Rating: 9/10

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