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Hands of a Stranger (1962)

Passed  |   |  Horror  |  22 April 1962 (USA)
5.2
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 304 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 10 critic

A concert pianist loses his hands in a car crash, but a surgeon gives him new ones. The experimental medical procedure goes awry when the new hands drive the pianist mad.

Director:

(as Newton Arnold)

Writer:

(as Newton Arnold)
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Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Dr. Gil Harding
Joan Harvey ...
Dina Paris
James Noah ...
Vernon Paris (as James Stapleton)
Ted Otis ...
Dr. Ross Compton
Michael Rye ...
George Britton
Laurence Haddon ...
Police Lt. Syms (as Larry Haddon)
Elaine Martone ...
Eileen Hunter
George Sawaya ...
Tony Wilder
Michael Du Pont ...
Dr. Ken Fry (as Michael du Pont)
...
Sue
David Kramer ...
Carnival Barker
Irish McCalla ...
Holly
...
Skeet
Edit

Storyline

A surgeon must graft new hands on a concert pianist to replace his badly mangled ones. However, after the operation, the pianist comes to believe that his new hands have a mind of their own, and are trying to force him to commit evil acts. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THEY GAVE HIM THE HANDS OF A KILLER! (all original print ads and posters-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 April 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Answer  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Completed in 1960, but not released until 1962. See more »

Goofs

(at around 47 mins) The pianist hits the piano keys in frustration in the treble register. However, we hear the sound of the lower, bass, register instead. See more »

Crazy Credits

and introducing BARRY GORDON as Skeet See more »

Connections

Version of The Beast with Five Fingers (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

How's Your Mother
Composed by John Mosher Played by Red Norvo Quintet (as Red Norvo Quintette) (Red Norvo, Jerry Dodgion, Jimmy Wyble, John Markham, Red Wootten)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Show of Hands
26 June 2005 | by (Brooklyn NY USA) – See all my reviews

(Some Spoilers) Obvious re-make of the Peter Lorre 1935 classic "Mad Love" the movie "Hands of a Stranger" deals with the loss of world famous concert pianist Vernon Paris, James Stapleton, most precious asset his hands. Hands that by tickling the piano keys with creates the kind of music that brings the roof down every time that he preforms.

Going home after his greatest performance, that he practiced for six months,the cab driver Tony Wilder, George Sawaya,loses control and smashes into the oncoming traffic blinding himself and causing Vernon to lose both his hands in the accident. At the hospital emergency ward Vernon's agent George Britton, Michael Ray, begs the presiding surgeon Dr. Gil Harding, Paul Lukather,to save his hands. The doctor is told that Vernon would be as good as dead without them. Dr. Harding using the hands of a corpse, suffering from gunshot wounds that he just operated on and graphs it's hands onto the stumps of Vernon. Later their accepted by his body making the operation an amazing success, a success until Vernon attempted to play his beloved piano. It turned out that the hands grafted on Vernon were that of an extremely strong person who also happened to be a brutal murder.

Not as bad as you would think with the acting and script far superior then most low-budget horror movies that were made back then in the early 1960's. Vernon even though he became an uncontrolled killer showed glimpses of his previous personally as a talented and sensitive artist. You could really feel for Vernon as you saw everything that he loved and cared for like his ability to play the piano and his girlfriend Elaine, Eileen Hunter, desert him at the time of his greatest need.

Vernon was a bad guy in the movie but you could well understand why he was that way and not be that critical of him. Vernon just couldn't control both his hands and emotions that made him do the terrible things that he did in the film. "Hands of a Strager" followed the usual scenario with Vernon destroying everything, and everyone, that he came in contact with. In the end he destroyed himself as he tried to murder Dr. Harding who he held responsible for his new found lot in life.

What really struck me about the film was the conduct of it's star Dr. Gil Harding who was anything but the mad doctor that you would have expected him to be. Concerned and understanding he didn't even want to operate on Vernon's hands at first. Dr. Harding had to be talked into it by his friend George who felt that without his hands Vernon would lose his will to live. Vernon's sister Dina, Joan Harvey, who sacrificed her personal live to care for and help Vernon become a success and was by far the most sympathetic person in the movie fell in love with Dr. Harding. Dina at first greatly disliked Dr. Harding for what he did to her brother not realizing that it wasn't his idea to operate. Which also showed that he was anything but the unstable and maniacal lunatic that's always portrayed in moves like "Hands of a Stranger".


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