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Film Studies 101
The 666 Greatest Horror Characters
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16
HARRY POWELL

Played by: Robert Mitchum
Film(s): The Night Of The Hunter (1955)

Robert Mitchum's preacher has 'love' tattooed on one hand, and 'hate' on the other, but there's never any doubt in Charles Laughton's superb directorial debut (and one-off) about which way Harry Powell leans. A cold-blooded killer who bashes more than the Bible, Powell is an implacable, unstoppable predecessor of characters like The Terminator, taking his sweet time to hunt down two cute kids who have run off with a bag of cash that he thinks should be his. Often seen in silhouette, Mitchum is never more chilling than in the sequence where he sings hymns with Lillian Gish's Rachel, as she stands guard over the children with a shotgun at her lap and God by her side.

Harry Powell

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