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The Beast with Five Fingers (1946)

 -  Horror  -  8 February 1947 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,426 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 40 critic

In a turn-of-the-century Renaissane Itakian 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)

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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:

It walks like a spider... it stalks like a cobra! 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

This was Peter Lorre's last film for Warner Bros. 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

Referenced in The Addams Family (1991) 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

 
One Hand Clapping
6 October 2002 | by (brighton, ma) – See all my reviews

This one could have been a minor classic but got butchered by the studio in the editing room. Since the script is mediocre, and the actors, aside from Peter Lorre, not at their best, the movie is quite a letdown, but for two things: excellent special effects of a disembodied hand running around and committing mayhem; and Peter Lorre's bulging eyed performance as a deranged bookworm-astrologer with a, well, disembodied hand fixation. Director Robert Florey tries his best with the material, but fails to create the right pace and feeling for the film. Since Florey and Lorre were both highly gifted men, this is all the more frustrating, as there are flashes of real brilliance in the film for all that is wrong with it. All this goes to show that a good horror movie, like any other kind, has to be built from the ground up. I sense that Florey was so intrigued by the idea of a horror based on a the image of a severed hand that he forgot to make the rest of the movie work. This won't do. Frankenstein isn't just about its set pieces,--the lightning storm, the murders, the burning windmill--it's a story rooted in a time, a place and a community, that concerns credible characters behaving in ways that make sense (even if one doesn't subscribe to their values or care for their motivations). Dracula, similarly, has a certain sweep, beginning in the remote Carpathians of central Europe, then moving to England, as we get a sense of how Dracula stalks his prey, the way he treats people, and why. The Beast With Five Fingers strains credibility from the outset, then goes swiftly downhill. One waits for the big scenes, which do not disappoint, but the story overall is poorly developed, and there's no one to care for or identify with. The movie is an interesting experiment, and worth watching once, yet never lives up to its promise, and is a terrible waste of its brilliant star, who's in very good form throughout.


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