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The Beast with Five Fingers (1946)

Approved | | Horror, Mystery | 8 February 1947 (USA)
In a turn-of-the-century Renaissance Italian mansion, its tyrannical owner, a one-handed, wheelchair-bound pianist, with a strong belief in the occult, is murdered.

Director:

Robert Florey

Writers:

Curt Siodmak (screen play), William Fryer Harvey (from a story by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Alda ... Conrad Ryler
Andrea King ... Julie Holden
Peter Lorre ... Hilary Cummins
Victor Francen ... Francis Ingram
J. Carrol Naish ... Ovidio Castanio
Charles Dingle ... Raymond Arlington
John Alvin ... Donald Arlington
David Hoffman ... Duprex
Barbara Brown Barbara Brown ... Mrs. Miller
Patricia Barry ... Clara (as Patricia White)
William Edmunds William Edmunds ... Antonio
Belle Mitchell ... Giovanna
Ray Walker ... Mr. Miller
Pedro de Cordoba ... Horatio
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Storyline

Locals in an Italian village believe evil has taken over the estate of a recently deceased pianist where several murders have taken place. The alleged killer: the pianist's severed hand. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You've never seen the like of it! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 February 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La bête aux cinq doigts See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Curt Siodmak in "Screenwriter: Words Become Pictures", he originally wrote the story for Warner Brothers leading man 'Paul Henried (I)' (qav). The actor decline,d saying, "I'm not wild to play against a dead hand." The writer believed that it would have been more effective with a good-looking man like Henried instead of 'Peter Lorre', whom the audience would automatically think was crazy. See more »

Goofs

When Julie is opening the door for Conrad when he first visit Mr Ingram, you can see the shadow of the camera following her to the door and back to Mr Ingram. See more »

Quotes

Ovidio Castanio: In my mind there is no doubt the hand is walking around.
Conrad Ryler: You don't believe in things like that.
Ovidio Castanio: Unfortunately for the peace of our souls, one cannot explain everything logically that happens in this world, Signor Conrad.
See more »


Soundtracks

Chaconne in D minor BMW 1004
(uncredited)
Composed bt Johann Sebastian Bach
Arranged for the left hand by Johannes Brahms
Pianist Ervin Nyiregyhazi
("Played on the screen by Victor Francen)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
More suspense than horror but a must-see for true fans of the genre.
26 August 2000 | by Wilbur-10See all my reviews

Classic early horror with Lorre in superb eye-popping form. Film is set in an Italian mansion where a wealthy pianist is close to death. When he passes away it turns out he has left everything in his will to his nurse, who incurs the wrath of the grasping relatives who have arrived. The bickering takes a sinister turn when the solicitor is strangled, seemingly by the severed hand of the dead pianist.

Lorre plays the deranged librarian whose sightings of the hand send him increasingly over the edge into madness. Despite the true horror potential of the storyline, the film tends to play more like a murder mystery. Much of the atmosphere is wasted by the air of light-heartedness, particularly the contrived slap-happy ending.

Misgivings aside, 'The Beast with Five Fingers' is still one of the genre making horrors, and while not in the same league as the heavyweight films of the 1930's like 'Frankenstein', 'The Invisible Man' or 'Mad Love', still rates serious attention.

Other severed hands featured in ' Dr Terror's House of Horrors, 'Evil Dead II', and Oliver Stone's 'The Hand'.


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