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The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992)

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After her humiliated husband kills himself, an embittered pregnant widow loses her child, and embarks on a mission of vengeance against a woman and her family.



3,657 ( 1,067)
5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mitchell Laurance ...
Justin Zaremby ...
Eric Melander ...
Jennifer Melander ...
Ashley Melander ...
Cliff Lenz ...
Seattle Today Host
Penny LeGate ...
Seattle Today Host


Peyton Flanders (Rebecca De Mornay) seemed to be the perfect nanny, but secretly she was out to wreck the lives of the family she was supposed to be helping. Before becoming the nanny, Peyton had a miscarriage due to the stress caused by the death of her husband, Dr. Victor Mott (John de Lancie), and blamed it on Claire (the mother, played by Annabella Sciorra),. Claire suspects nothing, having never met Peyton before. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Their innocence is her opportunity. Their trust is her weapon. And their destruction, her triumph. See more »


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for terror, violence, a scene of sexual molestation, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 January 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La mano que mece la cuna  »

Box Office


$11,700,000 (estimated)


$88,036,683 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Cybill Shepherd turned down the role of Peyton Flanders citing her feminist beliefs. See more »


When Peyton is making the soufflé, she says "It's a shame Michael's not here, he's gonna miss it" but her mouth isn't moving. See more »


Solomon: I won't let you hurt them!
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the end credits roll, we see the Bartel residence. See more »


Referenced in The Nanny: Smoke Gets in Your Lies (1993) See more »


from "H.M.S. Pinafore"
Written by W.S. Gilbert (uncredited) and Arthur Sullivan (uncredited)
Performed by The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company
Courtesy of London Records
A Division of PolyGram Classics
See more »

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User Reviews

Will rock your world!
19 July 2004 | by (California, USA) – See all my reviews

This is a chilling movie to spend a day or night with. Mrs. Moss (Rebecca De Mornay) seeks revenge on Claire Bartel (Annabella Sciorra) for reporting her husband Dr. Moss for sexual harassment, which lead to the doctor's suicide and precipitating Moss' miscarriage. She poses as nanny Peyton for the Bartel family, with the intention of raising hell.

Rebecca De Mornay gave an outrageously evil performance. The plot is solid and fast-paced; the only problem I have is the method Claire used to interview Peyton for the nanny position. She only asked Peyton, "How did you become to be a nanny?" leaving out relevant questions like health, personal background, prior jobs, resumes, way with kids, etc. Other than that, I enjoyed watching this movie and especially liked Julianne Moore's character, with her making smart, acid wit remarks. I especially liked her line "You have a Harvard education, make something up."

Overall, a great mystery movie with some good action mixed in.

Grade A

24 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Why the need..... mhpayne78
Retype the proposal tongatiger
The wet kitchen scene b/t Peyton and Michael. crystalmora1121
When claire punches peyton! crystalmora1121
Solomon, a black man, is nothing but a mockery tmarks106
Things I Learned from 'The Hand That Rocks the Cradle' Cello1949-2
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