This Weiss Serials Production film, ("Presented" by George M. Merrick who also co-wrote the screenplay and was the production manager), with the working title of "The Amazing Exploits of the Clutching Hand" but the actual release title on the film and all the printed material related to it was "The Clutching Hand", was loosely based on a novel by "Craig Kennedy" creator Arthur B. Reeve, and was also released as a feature in addition to the 15 chapter serial, both of which were originally distributed by Stage and Screen Productions, Inc. In Chapter 1, ("Who is the Clutching Hand?"), Doctor Paul Gironda announces he has discovered a formula for the manufacture of synthetic gold. The International Research Foundation agrees to financially help him develop his formula. Just before the Board of Directors arrive at Gironda's laboratory to witness his achievement, he is heard screaming, and mysteriously disappears before help arrives. Newspaper reporter Walter Jameson, who is engaged to ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Despite the title, there is no "Mystic Menace" in Chapter Thirteen. See more »
During the barroom fight in chapter one, it is quite obvious that some of the cheers and shouts from the onlookers (particularly the man shouting "Oh boy!") have been sped-up. See more »
[gives Mitchell a handful of cash]
Here you are, Mitchell. You're going out into the world a free man. I hope you become a useful and law-abiding member of society.
Aw, cut out the lecture, Warden.
Bitterness won't get you anywhere, Mitchell. Now that you squared your debt...
My debt ain't squared... not by a long shot. I got a lot of collectin' to do.
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Three hundred minutes! This ridiculous endless serial runs FIVE HOURS. Why? Why! WHY?!?! A real clutching hand must have used to get cinemas to run this bewildering epic. It is so silly and accidentally hilarious that I am sure even the simplest audiences marooned in suburban fleapits with this drivel must have been hooting at the screen. There is about 800 fights and all of them hilarious. I mean truly laugh out loud knee slapping howlers. They are POPEYE type fights with middle aged men in suits each with hats jammed on their heads fight like pussycats, swinging wide and 'thwapping' each other and missing by a mile. The incredulous bad dude: The Clutching Hand, with his muffled stupid 'orders' to each numbered henchmen over a primitive 1936 pedal TV just needs a good slap in reel 2 and we all could have saved ourselves several months of groan worthy slumping on the lounge. There is a great poverty row mansion with sort-of antiques, scenes filmed at 4.55pm of an afternoon in a hurry, pointless car chases and about 900 guys who all look the same. Lead thesp Jack Mulhall looks and acts like Stanley Holloway from MY FAIR LADY. He is like the praying mantis professor in A BUGS LIFE, rolling his eyes and A-C-T-I-N-G like this is Shakespeare. It's more bad than Bard. I just couldn't believe how this thing droned on and on. Then I saw it was reduced to 77 minutes as a feature in 1937. THAT just goes to show you how much superfluous footage was in this serial.THE CLUTCHING HAND is a 1919 level 'face at the window / Snidley Whiplash" melodrama serial with sound...If you have to watch ANY of it then I recommend Chapter 2 and 14 and 15. That will take up 70 minutes, and that is enough.
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