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The Amazing Exploits of the Clutching Hand (1936)

Passed | | Action, Crime, Mystery | 18 April 1936 (USA)
A scientist discovers a formula for making synthetic gold.



(novel), (adaptation) | 3 more credits »

On Disc

at Amazon



Cast overview, first billed only:
Shirley McMillan
Gordon Gaunt
Louis Bouchard
Montgomery [Chs.1,2,5,6]
Joe Mitchell
Number Eight / Sailor Brawler
Lawyer Cromwell [Chs.1-3,6,7,15]
Frank Leigh ...
Maj. Courtney Wickham
Frank Hobart (as Charles Locher)


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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


a Craig Kennedy Thriller In Fifteen Chapters


Action | Crime | Mystery


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 April 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Clutching Hand  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(15 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Chapters: 1) Who Is the Clutching Hand? - 2) Shadows - 3) House of Mystery - 4) The Phantom Car - 5) The Double Trap - 6) Steps of Doom - 7) The Invisible Enemy - 8) A Cry in the Night - 9) Evil Eyes - 10) A Desperate Chance - 11) The Ship of Peril - 12) Hidden Danger - 13) The Mystic Menace - 14) The Silent Spectre - 15) The Lone Hand. 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 »


[first lines]
Warden [Ch.1]: [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.
Joe Mitchell: Aw, cut out the lecture, Warden.
Warden [Ch.1]: Bitterness won't get you anywhere, Mitchell. Now that you squared your debt...
Joe Mitchell: My debt ain't squared... not by a long shot. I got a lot of collectin' to do.
See more »


Edited into The Amazing Exploits of the Clutching Hand (1936) See more »

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User Reviews

A landmark in American cinema
12 July 2014 | by See all my reviews

It is difficult to put the sweeping scope of this historic work into words. Rarely has such grandeur and brilliance been distilled on the silver screen. This, "The Clutching Hand," a film (actually, a serial) greater than "The Third Man," "Citizen Kane," and "Howard The Duck," is unrivaled in its thrilling plot line, fight direction, and acting talent.

Each of its pulse-pounding thunderbolt chapters adds to the excitement and executes its story with verve and brio. This is a true work of art.

Leading the cast is that titan of the stage, Jack Mulhall, also known for "Beat 'Em Up Barnes" and "A Face In The Fog." Mulhall is a connoisseur of acting in the finest Shakespearean style, and every movement, every line, is carefully crafted. His awe-inspiring performance brings one to tears.

The depth and mystery of the plot is unparalleled. I will not give away the completely unexpected, startling, shocking ending. It will leave you breathless and may bring you to the point of incoherent mumbling.

This astonishing cinematic jewel is not to be missed. By all means, I implore you, see it today. All five hours of it.

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