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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:

A Sensation of Screaming Suspense! 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

The piece of piano music played by Francis Ingram (Victor Francen) and later, his disembodied left hand, is the "Bach Chaconne in D Minor", as arranged to be played by the left hand alone by Johannes Brahms. It was selected by Max Steiner because the story required a piece of music that could be performed by a pianist with only his left hand, and Steiner, who was born in Vienna and whose family were friendly with Brahms, rather than composing his own original piece, immediately recognized its potential in underscoring such a grim tale. Legendary Hungarian-American pianist Ervin Nyiregyhazi performed the music played by the severed hand. See more »

Goofs

The hand print in the soil outside the mausoleum is not a print. A print would pressed into the soft soil. But, the hand print shown is in relief (raised above the surface). Hands or feet don't make that kind of impression. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Rookies: The Commitment (1972) 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

 
Allusion or reality?
29 October 2004 | by michaelRokeefeSee all my reviews

In a gloomy 1900s mansion in Italy a famed pianist(Victor Francen)lives with his devoted nurse(Andrea King) and his faithful secretary(Peter Lorre). The wheelchair bound pianist is only able to use one hand to play. An antique dealer(Robert Alda)adapts a piece of music to be played with one hand to dull the musician's bitterness. Francen dies after a rolling tumble down a staircase leaving his fortune to his nurse. A couple of upset relatives arrive protesting the will; but this moves to the back burner when murder and attempted murder is committed by the dead pianist's severed hand. Plus the hand likes to play the piano which adds to the terror. Lorre nails the hand in a box; and even throws it in a fire after confrontations with the disembodied member. Local Commissario Castanio(J. Carrol Naish)investigates this creepy mystery. Lorre is outstanding in a passive demented way. His wrestling with the severed hand is hilarious. Max Steiner is responsible for the haunting score. Great black and white from Warner Brothers.


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