For those who have never seen the film or heard of the book, the plot of Davis Grubb's 1953 novel The Night of the Hunter is based on the true story of Harry Powers. In 1932, Powers was convicted and hanged for the murders two widows and three children in Quiet Dell, West Virginia (just a few miles south of Clarksburg). The book, Grubb's first, was an instant bestseller and a finalist for the National Book Award. The film was deemed "culturally significant" and selected for preservation by the U.S. National Film Registry. Grubb is a native of Moundsville, where Powers was executed, and wrote a number of novels, including Fools' Parade, which was adapted into the film of the same name starring Jimmy Stewart and Kurt Russell.