Down 1,340 this week

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  10 January 1992 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 27,687 users  
Reviews: 108 user | 33 critic

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.



Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


Fall TV: 15 Returning TV Shows Worth Binge Watching

Which returning shows do we recommend binging on? We've picked out 15 great options for you. Read this and more lists in our Fall TV section.

Read our list

Related News

The Ones Below | 2015 Tiff Review
| ioncinema
Casting 'Clown Car '16, the Movie'

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 09 Jul 2011
a list of 21 titles
created 17 Jun 2012
a list of 30 titles
created 10 Aug 2012
a list of 30 titles
created 18 Apr 2014
a list of 37 titles
created 6 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992)

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992) on IMDb 6.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Hand That Rocks the Cradle.

User Polls

5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A woman advertising for a new roommate finds that something very strange is going on with the tenant who decides to move in.

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Bridget Fonda, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Steven Weber
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young woman fakes her own death in an attempt to escape her nightmarish marriage, but discovers it is impossible to elude her controlling husband.

Director: Joseph Ruben
Stars: Julia Roberts, Patrick Bergin, Kevin Anderson
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Rafting expert Gail takes on a pair of armed killers while navigating a spectacularly violent river.

Director: Curtis Hanson
Stars: Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, David Strathairn
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A married man's one night stand comes back to haunt him when that lover begins to stalk him and his family.

Director: Adrian Lyne
Stars: Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Sarah Taylor, a police psychologist, meets a mysterious and seductive young man, Tony Ramirez, and falls in love with him. As a result of this relationship, she changes her personality when... See full summary »

Director: Peter Hall
Stars: Rebecca De Mornay, Antonio Banderas, Dennis Miller
The Good Son (1993)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young boy stays with his aunt and uncle, and befriends his cousin who's the same age. But his cousin begins showing increasing signs of violent behavior.

Director: Joseph Ruben
Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Elijah Wood, Wendy Crewson
Dead Calm (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A mass-murderer kidnaps and seduces a young woman after leaving her husband to die on the vessel whose crew he's just slaughtered.

Director: Phillip Noyce
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill, Billy Zane
Copycat (1995)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An agoraphobic psychologist and a female detective must work together to take down a serial killer who copies serial killers from the past.

Director: Jon Amiel
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter, Dermot Mulroney
The Client (1994)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young boy who witnessed the suicide of a mafia lawyer hires an attorney to protect him when the district attorney tries to use him to take down a mob family.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Renfro
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A police detective is in charge of the investigation of a brutal murder, in which a beautiful and seductive woman could be involved.

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, George Dzundza
Backdraft (1991)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two Chicago firefighter brothers who don't get along have to work together while a dangerous arsonist is on the loose.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Robert De Niro
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A married couple try everything to get each other to leave the house in a vicious divorce battle.

Director: Danny DeVito
Stars: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito


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 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, and blamed it on Claire (the mother). Claire suspects nothing, having never met Peyton before. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Trust is her weapon. Innocence her opportunity. Revenge her only desire. 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?


The musical theme that is featured in the opening credits, that Payton hums when strolling the baby through the park, and that Michael hears on the radio at the climax is "Poor Wandering One", from the William S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan musical "The Pirates of Penzance". See more »


When Michael goes downstairs because he hears opera music playing in Peyton's room, the indicator lights for the alarm and PM time on the clock radio change from two lights to one and back again. See more »


Claire: She's Doctor Mott's widow, Michael!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in The Nanny: The Nanny-In-Law (1994) See more »


Composed by Frank Loesser and Jimmy McHugh
Performed by The John Coltrane Quartet
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Film That Rocks the Audience
10 October 2002 | by (Cincinnati, OH) – See all my reviews

Long before the acclaim of "L.A. Confidential", director Curtis Hansen offered up this trim, effectively manipulative and suspenseful film. Sciorra is a pregnant woman whose doctor (magnificently slimy de Lancie) molests her during an office visit. The ramifications of her subsequent charges bring about the entrance of De Mornay into her life. De Mornay poses as a nanny and almost immediately wreaks havoc on Sciorra's household, taking charge of it and manipulating the family, all while smiling pleasantly. The story is almost completely implausible and the credibility of the script is stretched further and further as it goes along. However, it matters not because of the sure-handed, inventive direction and the dedicated performance of De Mornay. Taking a cue from Hitchcock, much of the dirty business occurs in daylight among stark white walls and bright outdoor settings. De Mornay insinuates herself into the household and into the minds of the viewer with an unsettling and fascinating malevolence. No one is safe as she meticulously works her dread. Aside from her plots against Sciorra, her shocking behavior includes calling a mentally challenged man a 'retard' and saying the 'F' word to a grade school child. This decidedly un-PC approach is at compelling odds with Sciorra and her yuppie husband who both represent everything annoying and stereotypical about their type and status ('talking' to their kids, 'processing' everything psychologically, et al) They are well off and think they're 'on to' life, yet he's a dim bulb and she overreacts to everything possible. This makes a certain faction of the audience delight in seeing them tormented. Cutting a swath through all the bull is the stunning, fire-breathing, no-nonsense Moore as Sciorra's friend. This is one of the greatest supporting turns of the '90's. She owns every scene she's in, yet ultimately can't beat De Mornay, thus creating a terrific onscreen rivalry right from the start. Moore has never looked this wonderful again, nor essayed this brittle a role, but at least it exists as a monument to her talents at playing a ball-breaking bitch goddess. The excitement leading up to her confrontation with De Mornay is palpable (thanks in part to some great editing.) The male cast is weak. McCoy is often just plain bad and Hudson is embarrassing as a 'slow' handyman. Sciorra does well in a part that does her no favors. The film was a massive (surprise) hit, but she wasn't able to ride it to anything much afterwards. At least De Mornay was briefly lifted to a higher position in the film industry. Moore has fared the best. Zima (in her film debut!) is exceptionally cute as the daughter and does a great job. She later won a role on "The Nanny". The film inspired a raft of imitators featuring killer-sitters, killer-temps, etc... but none found the wide audience that this enjoyed. It's a credit to De Mornay (and Hanson) that despite being petite and feminine, she comes across as chilling and dangerously strong and violent.

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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The wet kitchen scene b/t Peyton and Michael. crystalmora1121
Solomon, a black man, is nothing but a mockery tmarks106
Things I Learned from 'The Hand That Rocks the Cradle' Cello1949-2
Solomon- Great Protrayal or most offensive character of all time? frankasu03
When claire punches peyton! crystalmora1121
Why did they need a nanny? haydeecm
Discuss The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: