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The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  10 January 1992 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 28,010 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.



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5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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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


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


... is the hand that rules the world. 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?


It is illegal to broadcast the name and picture of a sexual assault victim. See more »


The burping pad on Claire's shoulder after Payton pretends to remove the earring from the baby's mouth. See more »


Peyton Flanders: Marlene, is everything all right?
Marlene 'Marl' Craven: No! I need a doctor. KNOW of any, Mrs Mott?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Melrose Place: Sex, Drugs and Rockin' the Cradle (1994) See more »


from "Pirates of Penzance"
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

good psychological thriller marred by a few cliches
6 May 2002 | by (chennai, india) – See all my reviews

the hand that rocks the cradle was a very gripping psychological thriller, there is hardly any action or violence in the movie till the very end. the suspense and the thrills are at a very psychological level and this is what makes this movie rise above the ordinary, rebecca de mornay as the psychologically imbalanced nanny is terrific. the script was surprisingly good for a large part and the thrills were built up very convincingly.

there is obviously a lot of situations that defy belief, but with a little suspension of disbelief, they can be accepted. the cast is ordinary, and the performances of the young couple was very amateurish, as also the performance of ernie hudson as the mentally challenged person.

this movie would have been a lot more thrilling and dark and satisfying if it had not towards the end fallen in a whole deluge of cliches and predictable lame movie ending traps. call me sick, but i think the movie would have been far better with a darker ending.

on the whole a thrilling 8!

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Message Boards

Recent Posts
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
Solomon- Great Protrayal or most offensive character of all time? frankasu03
How did Claire make the connection? lilmissd
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