NEW YORK — From the moment Robert Mitchum first appeared on screen in a preacher’s hat and the words “love” and “hate” tattooed across either hand, “Night of the Hunter” achieved cult status. On Wednesday, a newly restored print of Charles Laughton’s 1955 thriller screened to a packed crowd at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall as part of a special retrospective of the 2001 New York Film Festival.
Prior to the screening, director Martin Scorsese took to the stage to receive the Intl. Federation of Film Archive’s (FIAF) inaugural film preservation award from president Ivan Trujillo.
“For me, the most important aspect to winning this award is that it will draw attention to all the work done by the film archives around the world,” Scorsese said. “People need to understand the amount of work that needs to be done.”
The UCLA Film & Television Archive supervised the restoration, which was funded by Catch 23 Entertainment’s Robert Sturm. Among those on hand for the presentation were thesp Edward Norton, the Museum of Modern Art’s Mary Lea Bandy, Film Foundation director Margaret Bodde and MGM’s John Kirk.