NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (Charles Laughton, Robert Mitchum, 1955)

Self-proclaimed preacher Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum, memorable) murders widows, taking their money and orphaning their children in this gothic Depression fable. A “false prophet” fond of quoting scripture in his rural travels, he embodies the risk to children during hard times. Correlative to this is a predatory universe, Nature “red in tooth and claw.” We […]

JUDEX (Louis Feuillade, 1916)

Wealthy Jacques de Tremeuse has an alternate identity: the caped avenger Judex—Latin, for Justice. He kidnaps and imprisons Favraux in a secret dungeon, leaving everyone to believe the Parisian banker is dead, after Favraux mistreats his elderly secretary, Vallières, and refuses to give half his ill-gotten fortune to the poor. But Judex has another, more […]