2 Reverend Harry Powell, The Night of The Hunter (1955)
The mighty Robert Mitchum angered up for this masterly portrayal of evil in Charles Laughton’s underseen American thriller. The character is a money-hungry predator, bent on recovering some stolen loot from the widow of a West Virginia robber. Charming his mark with phony righteousness, he woos and weds her—but two small children are on to him, and, fleeing home, they are pursued by a maniac. Mitchum’s howl is as pure and uncut an expression of rage as the screen has delivered; he also coos the traditional hymn “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” in a way that unsettles just as much. Powell’s unnerving knuckle tattoos—one for love, one for hate—were paid homage by Spike Lee in Do the Right Thing.