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The Hidden Hand (1942)

Approved | | Comedy, Horror, Mystery | 7 November 1942 (USA)
Peter Thorne (Craig Stevens)is a young attorney who works for an eccentric old woman, Lorinda Channing (Cecil Cunningham), who uses her insane brother, John Channing (Milton Parsons), to ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Ben Stoloff)

Writers:

(screenplay) (as Anthony Coldewey), (screenplay) (as Raymond Schrock) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Peter Thorne
Elisabeth Fraser ...
Mary Winfield
...
Rita Channing
Willie Best ...
...
Dr. Lawrence Channing
...
Lorinda Channing
Ruth Ford ...
Estelle Channing
Milton Parsons ...
...
Walter Channing
Tom Stevenson ...
Horace Channing
Marian Hall ...
Nurse Eleanor Stevens
Inez Gay ...
Hattie (as Inez Gary)
Kam Tong ...
Mallo
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Storyline

Peter Thorne (Craig Stevens)is a young attorney who works for an eccentric old woman, Lorinda Channing (Cecil Cunningham), who uses her insane brother, John Channing (Milton Parsons), to frighten her other relatives because they are after her money. Further complications arrive when another murderer arrives on the scene and plants the blame on John Channing. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Warner Bros. Mystery Special! (original poster) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

7 November 1942 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(1934). Stage Play: Invitation to a Murder. Mystery/melodrama. Written by Rufus King. Directed by A.H. Van Buren. Theatre Masque: 17 May 1934- Jul 1934 (closing sate unknown/53 performances). Cast: Walter Abel (as "Dr. Linton"), Humphrey Bogart (as "Horatio Channing"), Edgar Charles, Sherling Oliver, Walter Plinge, Jane Seymour, James Shelburne, Gale Sondergaard (as "Lorinda Channing"), William Valentine, Juan Varro, Daphne Warren-Wilson. Produced by Ben Stein. Note: Filmed by Warner Bros. as The Hidden Hand (1942). See more »

Quotes

Eustis the Chauffeur: The ghost got the nurse lady by the neck!
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User Reviews

A Different Old Dark House
25 May 2011 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Hidden Hand, The (1942)

** (out of 4)

Yet another "old dark house" mystery but this one here lets you know who the killers are and lets you in on their secret plan. A rich old woman helps her crazy brother escape from an insane asylum so that he can pretend to be her butler while she invites over various members of her family who are just waiting for her to die so that they can get her money. The old lady fakes her death with the help of her doctor so that she can see how the family members will act once she's gone and then more bodies start to pile up. The plot to THE HIDDEN HAND is at least something fresh but sadly the direction is so lacking that you can't help but feel the movie is twice as long as its 63-minute running time. I really enjoy watching "B" movies but this one here really took me by surprise because it seemed the screenwriter at least wanted to try something different and separate this from other entries in the genre but sadly the director simply didn't have any idea how to inject any life into the picture. There are countless scenes that just drag along including one very boring one where the family members just whisper to one another how they wish the old woman would just drop dead. Of course, none of them ever stop to think that someone listening might not be too thrilled with what they're saying. Another problem is that none of the characters are all that likable including the good girl (Elisabeth Fraser) who we know is going to get the money. Fraser is pretty good in her role even though the screenplay doesn't require too much. The same is true for Julie Bishop and Craig Stevens in their roles. The film stealer is without question Milton Parsons who plays the psychotic brother. His performance is so wacky and over-the-top that you can't help but have fun with his character. The way he's unshaven, hair as wild as can be and the way he stalks around the house is just downright fun and you can't help but wish the character had a stronger movie around him. We even get Willie Best doing his typical "scared servant" bit. THE HIDDEN HAND is one of a countless number of films that tried to fool viewers with various twists and turns. There really isn't anything ground-breaking here but the weak direction really keeps it from being better.


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