First seen in the 1955
version of The Night of the Hunter
(directed by Charles Laughton
), Love/Hate tattoos
have become the mark
of the stereotypical bad boy
In Night of the Hunter, Robert Mitchum plays a sociopathic serial killer preacher. Tattooed across his right knuckles was the word, 'LOVE', and across his left was the word, 'HATE'.
Reverend Harry Powell to John Harper (played by Billy Chapin):
Ah, little lad, you're staring at my fingers. Would you like me to tell you the little story of right-hand/left-hand? The story of good and evil? H-A-T-E! It was with this left hand that old brother Cain struck the blow that laid his brother low. L-O-V-E! You see these fingers, dear hearts? These fingers has veins that run straight to the soul of man. The right hand, friends, the hand of love. Now watch, and I'll show you the story of life. Those fingers, dear hearts, is always a-warring and a-tugging, one agin t'other. Now watch 'em! Old brother left hand, left hand he's a fighting, and it looks like love's a goner. But wait a minute! Hot dog, love's a winning! Yessirree! It's love that's won, and old left hand hate is down for the count!
have since been used elsewhere. Meat Loaf's
character in the 1975 cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show
) sported three tattoos
, including thin blue LOVE/HATE tattoos
on his right
In Simpsons episode 9F22 originally aired October 7, 1993 entitled Cape Feare (a play on Cape Fear), Sideshow Bob wears 'LUV' and 'HÄT' tattoos (he only has three fingers per hand, of course).
In an essay entitled Icons of Flesh, Dr. James F. Hooper comments that tattoos and sociopaths often coincide, and that:
The words love and hate, I understood, applied to the fingers, H-A-T-E on the left hand, L-O-V-E on the right, were essentially pathognomonic of sociopathy.
- The Simpsons Archive:
- Icons of Flesh by Dr. James F. Hooper:
- The Internet Movie Database (IMDB):