- Actor-Inspired Element: Reportedly it was Robert Mitchum himself who thought of the shot of hanging upside down in his bunk. Charles Laughton liked the idea, and it was shot that way.
- AFI's 100 Years... Series:
- Box Office Bomb: Budget, $750,000. Box office, $300,000 (US rentals). The first and only feature film directed by Charles Laughton. It's since been Vindicated by History as an all time masterpiece and its Sinister Minister villain has been expied and spoofed over the years.
- Completely Different Title: The Swedish title spoils the film, as it tells where the money is hidden. Trasdocka literally means Rag Doll (Pearl's toy).
- Creator Killer: It bombed so hard on its initial release that Charles Laughton decided never again to direct. He'd been planning to do The Naked and the Dead next, but gave it up.
- "Laughton's biographer, Simon Callow, believes that the failure broke his heart. 'He had found his métier, everything in his career and life so far had been preparing him for filmmaking, but it came too late for him to withstand the rough indifference of the commercial cinema.'"
- Dawson Casting: According to the novel, Ruby is 13. She's played by Gloria Castillo, who was 22 at the time.
- Deleted Scene/Missing Episode:
- A scene depicting the townsfolk going into the Spoon store after watching a movie is the only complete scene that was actually shot and later completely discarded.
- Willa's last line "Bless us all," delivered just before her throat is cut was deleted in the final film.
- Fountain of Expies: Many villains are based on Robert Mitchum's performance as Powell, such as Kane from Poltergeist II: The Other Side and Caleb from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Even The Simpsons' Sideshow Bob gets in on the action in one episode ("Cape Feare", where, due to Four-Fingered Hands, he has "LUV" on one hand and "HAT" - long A - on the other), and The Clash give him a Shout-Out in "Death or Glory".
- Hostility on the Set: Robert Mitchum was openly contemptuous of Shelley Winters throughout the shooting of the film, and later claimed to have wished Charles Laughton had actually used Winters in the scene when her character's body is seen dead underwater. When he first learned that she won the part, he said,She looks and sounds as much like a wasted West Virginia girl as I do. The only bit she'll do convincingly is to float in the water with her throat cut.
- Mitchum was also widely known for his nasty anti-gay jokes. But he put his hatred aside for Laughton, and they became good friends.
- List of Films You Should See By the Age of 14: #4
- Name's the Same: The character of Ben Harper is not a grouchy English dentist.
- Never Work with Children or Animals: Robert Mitchum tried explaining to Billy Chapin that he needed to better understand his character and his relationship to the preacher. Chapin, who had a reputation for brattiness, replied, "That's probably why I just won the New York Critics Circle prize." Charles Laughton bellowed, "Get that child away from me!" and from then on Mitchum patiently directed the boy in their scenes together.
- The Other Marty: Emmett Lynn was originally cast and filmed as Birdie Steptoe, but Charles Laughton replaced him with James Gleason and reshot all of Lynn's scenes.
- What Could Have Been:
- Early in production, Charles Laughton wanted to play Harry Powell himself. When it became clear that this would be a difficult (if not impossible) sell to the studios, Laurence Olivier lobbied for the role before being passed over in favor of the more bankable Robert Mitchum.
- Gary Cooper turned down the role, seeing it as harmful to his career. John Carradine was also considered.
- Jane Darwell, Ethel Barrymore, Helen Hayes, Agnes Moorehead, Louise Fazenda and Elsa Lanchester (Laughton's wife) were considered for Rachel Cooper.
Trivia / The Night of the Hunter