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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.



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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


Get rocked January 10th! See more »



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?


The scene where Peyton visits Michael's workplace was filmed at Bio Techniques Laboratories in Redmond, Washington and used company employees as extras. The picturesque wooden building, previously the research center for the historic Simpson Timber Company, was demolished 2 years later to make room for the expansion of Microsoft. See more »


What Claire has isn't asthma it is actually panic attacks. Asthma attacks are not brought on by sudden stress or anxiety, they are brought on by bacterial, infection, stuff of that nature. You can tell with how quickly she is breathing during her "asthma" attack that it is a panic attack and not an asthma attack. See more »


Michael Bartel: Marlene, I think I'm gonna bum one of these.
[Takes one of her cigarettes]
Claire: You are such a bad influence. He only smokes around you now.
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 »


Written by Dan Dean
Courtesy of Dan Dean Productions
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User Reviews

The Nanny From Hell
22 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Just the opening scene turns off a lot of people, but that's too because all of the film - all of it - is interesting with Rebecca DeMornay excelling at a vengeful, psychotic killer nanny. This "nanny" does about everything you could do to ruin a family. Yes, she's the nanny from Hell.

I always thought Annabella Sciorra had an interesting face with a knockout smile, at least back in late '80s, early '90s, so I enjoy watching her. Here, she plays a good woman who is married to a good man (Matt McCoy) - wow, there's an oddity in modern films: a happy and faithful husband and wife!

This is an involving film. Once you are into it, you're hooked and the 100-plus minutes go by pretty fast. DeMornay is so effective in her role you just can't wait to see her exposed for who she is and justice done to her.

I did think Sciorra's character would have needed more to go on to come to the right conclusion near the end, but, usually every film has some question marks regarding credibility. The violent, ending scene is very suspenseful and well- done.

46 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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