Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Creepy Coincidence?

A few weeks ago, I was finally able to watch The Human Comedy, which I had wanted to see for quite some time. In it, there is a touching scene on a train where Marcus (Van Johnson) leads his fellow soldiers in the old time hymn “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms”. However, instead of bringing me to tears, the scene quite frankly creeped me out. How could that be, you may ask? Well, if you have ever seen The Night of the Hunter, you’ll understand. The song is turned into an instrument of fear and foreshadowing as a sinister preacher stalks two small children. I had never heard it until I had seen The Night of the Hunter, so when I heard it in The Human Comedy, I couldn’t get the image of Robert Mitchum singing it while Lillian Gish sits on a porch with a shotgun in her hand. There lies the coincidence: Robert Mitchum is in both films. In The Human Comedy, he has a small part as a soldier and in The Night of the Hunter, he plays the menacing preacher. Was this done on purpose or is it merely a creepy coincidence? You be the judge.

Here are the lyrics, just in case you felt like singing along!
What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!
Leaning, leaning,
Safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning,
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.
O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!
O how bright the path grows from day to day,
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!
What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!
I have peace complete with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!

By the way, I’m still hard at work on my list of 20 favorite actors. I hope to have it done in the next few days, so be prepared!

3 comments:

Kate Gabrielle said...

ooh that is eerie! Now I'm going to remember this the next time I watch the Human Comedy!

Millie said...

That is entirely too creepy. I love finding out stuff like that!

Genevieve said...

Kate: Very eerie! It completely ruined the scene for me.

Millie: I love finding strange coincidences too : )