50DMC #24: Most Beautiful Movie

The 50 Day Movie Challenge asks one question every day, to be answered by a few paragraphs and a clip, if possible. Click here for the full list of questions.

Today’s prompt: What’s the most beautiful movie you’re ever seen?

I guess you could answer this beautiful-looking or beautiful-sounding or beautiful-spirited or any number of other interpretations of “beautiful,” but I’m a bit of a cinematography whore so I went with visual beauty. Even with that, there are so many choices, and I had a number of others in here first, like The Tree of Life and other Malick films, or Sunrise and its moody Expressionism, or The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford or The Double Life of Veronique or any number of others. But I decided to go for the black and white stunner The Night of the Hunter. I love this film for many reasons, but one of the main ones is its gorgeous painterly photography, which makes nearly every shot screencappable. It’s basically Expressionist like Sunrise, but with sharp contrasts and angles compared with Sunrise‘s softer, dreamier approach. I’ve seen the film several times, but I still gasp at many visual moments scattered throughout it.

Here’s a clip of my favorite part.

And what the heck, some favorite stills.