The Beast with Five Fingers

Overview

This movie is an early horror film classic and certainly one that a well-rounded horror movie aficionado should not miss. An invalid concert pianist dies, leaving a will that does not include his personal secretary Hilary Cummins Peter Lorre as a beneficiary. Furious, the left-out yes-man cuts off a hand from the corpse and plots revenge. Unfortunately for Hilary, the hand inherits a life of its own and relentlessly stalks the wild-eyed Lorre as he flees in vain. Special effects keep the audience jumping as they ...
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Overview

This movie is an early horror film classic and certainly one that a well-rounded horror movie aficionado should not miss. An invalid concert pianist dies, leaving a will that does not include his personal secretary Hilary Cummins Peter Lorre as a beneficiary. Furious, the left-out yes-man cuts off a hand from the corpse and plots revenge. Unfortunately for Hilary, the hand inherits a life of its own and relentlessly stalks the wild-eyed Lorre as he flees in vain. Special effects keep the audience jumping as they dread the next appearance of this gruesome walking hand. The film is directed by Robert Florey, who also directed Murders in the Rue Morgue 1932.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This effectively eerie chiller about a vengeance-seeking, disembodied hand has been much-imitated over the years and has earned its reputation as one of the more original horror films of the 1940s. Showcasing another wild screenplay from horror master Curt Siodmak, The Beast with Five Fingers takes place almost entirely in the dark mansion of Francis Ingram, a wealthy recluse who lives in the village of San Stefano in early 20th century Italy. Peter Lorre gives his usual creepy performance, this time as Hilary Cummins, Ingram's loyal but unappreciated secretary. Not surprisingly, Lorre steals the show, but there are also some entertaining scenes for Charles Dingle as Ingram's ruthless, scheming brother-in-law. Director Robert Florey, whose unique output has earned him a solid cult following, employs interesting camera angles to heighten the oddity of the proceedings. He also expertly stages some memorably suspenseful scenes, including Lorre's battle with the hand in the library, Lorre's attack on leading lady Andrea King, and especially the elaborate finale. Of course, crucial to the film's success is the hand itself, which is achieved through some remarkable photographic effects that make the hand appear real, and make it difficult (and at times impossible) to figure out how the effects were achieved. The cast also includes Robert Alda and J. Carrol Naish, and while there may not be much substance to the story, it is still great fun.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/1/2013
  • UPC: 883316843062
  • Original Release: 1946
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: Full Frame
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:28:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 8,154

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Alda Conrad Ryler
Andrea King Julie Holden
Peter Lorre Hilary Cummins
Victor Francen Francis Ingram
J. Carrol Naish Ouidio Castanio
Charles Dingle Raymond Arlington
John Alvin Donald Arlington
David Hoffman Duprex
Barbara Brown Mrs. Miller
Patricia White Clara
William Edmunds Antonio
Belle Mitchell Giovanna
Ray Walker Miller
Pedro de Cordoba Horatio
Technical Credits
Robert Florey Director
Wesley Anderson Cinematographer
Stanley Fleischer Art Director
William Jacobs Producer
Frank Magee Editor
Curt Siodmak Screenwriter
Max Steiner Score Composer
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