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  • Adaptation Displacement: Hardly anybody remembers that this was originally a novel by Davis Grubb.
  • Complete Monster: Harry Powell. The cops aren't the only ones who are happy to see him hang.
  • Draco in Leather Pants / Ron the Death Eater: John refuses to see his dad as a criminal who's essentially fucked up his childhood and thinks of the police as "bad men." This supposedly changes when he finally breaks down towards the end.
  • Ear Worm:
    • "Chiiiiiiiiiillll-dren? Chiiiiiiiiiiil-dren?"
    • "Leeaaaning, leaaaning."
  • Moment of Awesome: Rachel singing, "Leaning on Jesus, leaning on Jesus" while Harry sings "Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarm." It's a beautiful moment showing the tension between the two, and a CMoA for Rachel showing how tough she is, and that HER motives are pure.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The entire conflict is filled with this.
  • Padding: One of the film's weak spots is that the last twenty minutes or so drag and drag hard. This was probably caused by the Hays Code, which stated all villains needed to be punished and that murderers could not get away with the deed.
  • The Scrappy: Icey Spoon, you are an ass.
  • Vindicated by History: The film did so poorly that Charles Laughton never got a chance to direct another, but is today acknowledged as a masterpiece by everyone who knows anything about film.
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