Arrow Films’ Arrow Academy label is pleased to announce the highly anticipated deluxe Blu-ray release of The Night of the Hunter. The restored Blu-ray disc will be available to own in the UK on 7th October, marking the first time that the movie will be available on the Blu-ray format in the UK.
The carefully restored Blu-ray, from 35mm film elements restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive in cooperation with MGM Studios, with funding provided by the Film Foundation and Robert B. Strum will also feature an extensive amount of extra features and, for the first time, will be presented in the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio, as director Charles Laughton and cinematographer Stanley Cortez originally intended the film to be seen. Previous editions of the film have only been released in the full frame 1.33:1 ratio, removing vital picture information and altering the cinematographic integrity of the image.
Accompanying the release are a host of special features including the epic documentary ‘Charles Laughton Directs “The Night of the Hunter”, a two-and-a-half hour documentary of the film featuring rare outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage.
The release will also include an exclusive new booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic and filmmaker David Thompson, an archive review by Gavin Lambert and writer and filmmaker F.X. Feeney on screenwriter James Agee.
‘Looking at the film some sixty years on, The Night of the Hunter has the timeless quality of many of the great classics of the cinema. It looks back to the poetic simplicity of the best of D.W. Griffith, the intense expressionism of F.W. Murnau’s Sunrise, and the fairy tale aura of James Whale’s Frankenstein films. Its influence can clearly be felt today on such directors as David Lynch, Martin Scorsese and Terence Davies.’ David Thompson
This visually ravishing, authentically terrifying Southern Gothic masterpiece is one of the cinema’s great one-offs, not just because it was the only film directed by the actor Charles Laughton.
Robert Mitchum gives a career-best performance as Harry Powell, a self-appointed preacher with ‘LOVE’ and ‘HATE’ tattooed on his knuckles who travels to a small town in search of his executed cellmate’s stash of cash, under the impression that his two young children know its whereabouts.
But the film’s melodramatic plot plays second fiddle to some of the most extraordinary images ever captured on film. Laughton and cinematographer Stanley Cortez (The Magnificent Ambersons) imbue almost every shot with a luminosity that recalls the great silent masterpieces of F.W. Murnau and Victor Sjöström. A widely misunderstood flop at the time (which put Laughton off ever directing again), it’s now regarded as one of the greatest of all American films.
-New digital transfer made from 35mm film elements restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive in cooperation with MGM Studios, with funding provided by the Film Foundation and Robert B. Strum
-Optional original uncompressed Mono PCM audio & 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
-Isolated Music and Effects Soundtrack
-Charles Laughton Directs “The Night of the Hunter” – A two-and-a-half-hour documentary on the making of the film featuring outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage
-Archival interview with cinematographer Stanley Cortez
-Original theatrical trailer
-Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly artwork by Graham Humphreys
-Booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic and filmmaker David Thompson with more to be announced.