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The 41st Film Noir Series: Night of the Hunter

Nov 15 2018

Seattle Art Museum

Plestcheeff Auditorium

7:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Who can sleep when the night is a fever of perfume and gun smoke, the wails of saxophones and police sirens, when acting on impulse is better than a dream? Called “the best series in Seattle film history” by Charles R. Cross, this is the world’s longest-running film noir celebration.

about the film

Film noir usually presents the shadow side of the human psyche in adult terms. But Laughton’s masterpiece immerses us in a child’s view of a grown-up world of greed, violence, and twisted sexuality that’s almost overwhelming; where adults loom like monsters and angels; and reality, fairy tale, and nightmare merge. Via cinematographer Stanley Cortez’s searing images, Laughton floats us into a world where playing kids find the molested body of a woman in a cellar, and a dead woman sits at the bottom of a river, her hair streaming in the current. Where a Bible-crazed preacher with a knife (Robert Mitchum) tries to get little Billy Chapin and Sally Jane Bruce to tell him where some money’s hidden. They won’t say, and they have to get away, floating on that river, watched by innocent animals. Laughton’s aesthetic of power-of-simplicity was inspired by D.W. Griffith’s seminal films, and Griffith’s great heroine, Lilian Gish, provides a sanctuary for lost children. She’s got a spine of steel, but Mitchum, worse than any boogey man, just keeps coming. With Shelley Winters, Peter Graves. Screenplay by James Agee and Laughton. In 35mm, 93 min.

Other Films in this Series

Thu Sep 27

White Heat

Thu Oct 4

Leave Her to Heaven

Thu Oct 11

Force Of Evil

Thu Oct 25

On Dangerous Ground

Thu Nov 1

Sudden Fear

Thu Nov 8

Wicked Woman

Thu Nov 15

Night of the Hunter

Thu Nov 29

Lilith

Thu Dec 6

Heat

Series tickets may be purchased online, at the Ticketing Desk at the Seattle Art Museum or over the phone with a credit card by calling the SAM Customer Service Center at 206.654.3210.

A limited number of single-film tickets may be available on a first-come, first-served basis the day of the show, at 7:25 pm, at the auditorium entrance for $9 (cash/check only).

The film series is generously supported by the Bagley and Virginia Wright Endowment and The Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Film and Education Endowment. Additional support provided by David and Catherine Eaton Skinner and Aron Michael Thompson.
Photo: Paul Gregory Prods/UA/Photofest