The 20th annual Arthur Lyons’ Film Festival will open with the screening of the 1955 film “The Night of the Hunter,” at the historic Camelot Theater in Palm Springs, California on Thursday, May 9 at 7:30 pm. The film stars Robert Mitchum and Lillian Gish and is the only directorial effort by actor Charles Laughton. As a special treat, the film festival will also have a discussion with actress Kathy Garver. Garver is best known for her role in the very popular television series “A Family Affair.” Her work in the film “The Night of the Hunter,” took place when Garver was seven years old and it was her first debut as an actress. The Q&A will be hosted by Alan K. Rode.
“The Night of the Hunter,” features a story about a religious fanatic that marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery. The film also stars Shelley Winters.
In an exclusive interview with Garver, we discussed her work on “Night of the Hunter.” Garver spoke about working for Charles Laughton and being on a movie set for the first time, “He was very interesting, he was a rumpled type of character and he was good with the kids. I have this great picture when we (Billy Chapin, myself, Mary Jane Clemon, Charles Laughton and Cheryl Callaway) are at a table.
“Lillian Gish always had salami and cheese out on the set, which she purchased with her own funds for the cast and crew. Laughton was there showing us kids how to cut out paper dolls. And he was trying to cut out these dolls with his stubby hands and Lillian Gish sat nearby calmly knitting. I treasure that photograph (photograph is attached to article). And that moment really captured each person’s essence.
“There have been some tales that he (Laughton) didn’t like the kids. Poor Sally Jane, she was just five years old, it was her first movie and it was difficult for her. I was her stand-in and double and I did all the action scenes. She couldn’t run very well, climb ladders or run up steps. It was also difficult for her to be in the boat cruising down the river. So, I was able to do all those things. It was a wonderful experience, I must say.”
When remembering her first meeting with Robert Mitchum she said, “He was kind of scary. Meeting him that first day on the set, he was very entranced in his part and I had difficulty telling the actor from the character – he was that good.”
To hear more from Kathy, tickets are available for $13.50 for opening night and festival passes are available for $139.00. Click here for access to obtain your ticket: Tickets
The schedule for the Arthur Lyons’ Film Noir Festival includes screenings of:
“Somewhere in the Night,” starring John Hodiak and Lloyd Nolan
“The Scarlet Hour,” starring Carol Ohmart and Tom Tryon
“5 Fingers,” starring James Mason and Danielle Darrieux
“All my Sons,” starring Edward G. Robinson and Burt Lancaster
“Trapped,” starring Lloyd Bridges and Barbara Peyton
“Calcutta,” starring Alan Ladd and William Bendix
“Odds Against Tomorrow,” starring Robert Ryan and Harry Belafonte
“King Creole,” starring Elvis and Dean Jagger
“Shakedown,” starring Howard Duff and Brian Donlevy
“The Glass Key,” starring Joan Crawford and Ann Blyth
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