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The Beast with Five Fingers (1946)

Approved  |   |  Horror  |  8 February 1947 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,458 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 40 critic

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.

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Title: The Beast with Five Fingers (1946)

The Beast with Five Fingers (1946) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Alda ...
...
Julie Holden
...
Victor Francen ...
Francis Ingram
J. Carrol Naish ...
Ovidio Castanio
Charles Dingle ...
Raymond Arlington
John Alvin ...
Donald Arlington
David Hoffman ...
Duprex
Barbara Brown ...
Mrs. Miller
...
Clara (as Patricia White)
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

Plot Keywords:

pianist | occult | hand | piano | musician | See All (42) »

Taglines:

Your flesh will creep... AT THE HAND THAT CRAWLS!! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 February 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La bête aux cinq doigts  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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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 »

Quotes

Conrad Ryler: I know, Julie, tou're afraid. He's holding tou with his pain and helplessness. He draws his energy from your life. He'll never let you go.
Julie Holden: But I must go.
See more »

Connections

Version of Mad Love (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Chaconne in D minor BMW 1004
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

 
The eyes no longer have it...
4 March 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Beast with Five Fingers is directed by Robert Florey and jointly written by Curt Siodmak and William Fryer Harvey. It stars Robert Alda, Andrea King, Peter Lorre, Victor Francen, J. Carrol Naish, Charles Dingle, John Alvin and David Haffman. Music is by Max Steiner and cinematography by Wesley Anderson.

Francis Ingram (Francen) is a well regarded pianist who after suffering a stroke leaves him paralysed on one side, chooses to live at an isolated manor in rural Italy. After he calls family and carers together for the reading of his will, tragedy strikes and something sinister begins to stalk the manor house...

Wonderfully weird, a blend of guignol, noir, expressionism and cheese, The Beast with Five Fingers delivers rich rewards for those not expecting a horror masterpiece.

Following the classic "old dark house" formula, plot basically sees the characters introduced, their means and motives deliberately grey, tragedy strikes and then the titular beast of the title comes into play. Cue characters getting bumped off, some shouting, some eerie scenes and then the mystery solved. All of which is set to the backdrop of a typical mansion of many rooms and doors, an imposing staircase and of course a grand piano. Florey stitches it together neatly, Anderson provides some striking photography that embraces shadows and deals in odd angles, while Lorre does yet another film stealing performance involving twitchy weasel like mania.

A stupid tacked on coda soils things a touch, and you really have to have a bent for this type of creaky chiller, but it is great fun and it "pointed" the way for other "beastly hand" tales that followed down the line. 7/10


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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