Thoughts, links, and essays from Peter Merholz
petermescellany   petermemes


Archives before June 13, 2001

RSS Feed

Adaptive Path (my company!)

About peterme

Most of the Time
Oakland, CA

American history around the time of the Revolution, figuring out how to marry top-down task-based information architecture processes with bottom-up document-based ones, finding a good dentist in San Francisco Oakland
Designing the user experience (interaction design, information architecture, user research, etc.), cognitive science, ice cream, films and film theory, girls, commuter bicycling, coffee, travel, theoretical physics for laypeople, single malt scotch, fresh salmon nigiri, hanging out, comics formalism, applied complexity theory, Krispy Kreme donuts.

Click to see where I wander.

Wish list
Show me you love me by
buying me things.

Track updates of this page with Spyonit. Clickee here.

[Editor's note: began as a site of self-published essays, a la Stating The Obvious. This evolved (or devolved) towards link lists and shorter thoughtpieces. These essays are getting a tad old, but have some good ideas.]
Reader Favorites
Interface Design Recommended Reading List
Whose "My" Is It Anyway?
Frames: Information Vs. Application

Interface Design
Web Development
Movie Reviews

Leanings... Leanings... Safe and Secure From All Alarms... Posted on 10/26/2001.

A pleasant, if sad, feature on Charles Laughton's unfortunately brief career as a film director, marking the showing of a newly restored print. Night Of The Hunter, is, for my money, the greatest film made by an American studio. Remarkably daring and innovative, with every stylistic leap succeeding and ringing true. Amazingly experimental for a narrative film, particularly one produced by an American studio in 1955. Sadly, it's allegorical and fantastic nature can be too off-putting for moviegoers engorged on cinematic realism. Remember--it's only a moo-vie.

1 comment so far. Add a comment.

Previous entry: "Does digitalia feature a new aesthetic?"
Next entry: "What IA Needs Now, Is Research, Sweet Research..."


NIGHT OF THE HUNTER is one of the all-time great films, but it was not made by an American, or any studio. It was an independent Paul gregory Production, distributed by United Artists Releasing Corporation. Gregory had already produced several stage plays, including at least three in the early 1950s with Laughton; DON JUAN IN HELL, JOHN BROWN'S BODY and THE CAINE MUTINY. I saw Laughton in the first two and LLoyd Nolan in the last.

Gregory presented his plays in theaters and in churches and school auditoriums throughout the United States. They were bare stage - no scenery - productions that also starred such actors as Henry Fonda, Tyrone Power, John Hodiak, Anne Bancroft and Charles Boyer, not to mention a future star, James Garner, as a non-speaking juror in The Caine Mutiny.

I met and spoke with Laughton, cinematographer Stanley Cortez and others connected to the production in 1955. Gregory apparently applied a great deal of charm in getting both investors and actors to contibute to his high-minded but low-budget stage and film produtcions. Two UCLA film students, Dennis and Terry Sanders were given the assignment of shooting the second unit Ohio River Valley sequences.

Simon Callow's comments about the Agee script are silly and false. The script has been published and Agee's contribution to the final film is clear. There is never any need to elevate one partner in a collaboration at the expense of others. NOTH is as much Robert Mitchum's creation as it is Lillian Gish's and Laughton's, Gregory's, Cortez's, and probably others whom I can't name. But I will name author Davis Grubb, on whose gripping novel virtually every element of the movie is based. Read the book. Read the script. Trash the Simon Callow.
Posted by BJMe @ 10/26/2001 11:23 PM PST [link to this comment]

Add A New Comment:


E-Mail (optional)

Homepage (optional)

Comments Now with a bigger box for text entry! Whee!

All contents of are © 1998 - 2002 Peter Merholz.