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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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3,239 ( 441)
5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

Trust is her weapon. Innocence her opportunity. Revenge her only desire. See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

10 January 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La mano que mece la cuna  »

Box Office

Budget:

$11,700,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$88,036,683 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title of the film is taken from the poem of the same name written by William Ross Wallace. The poem praises motherhood as the primary impetus for changing the world. See more »

Goofs

When Emma carries Joe into the closet to escape Peyton, it is clearly a doll she is holding and not a real baby. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in The Exes: The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

SAY IT (OVER AND OVER AGAIN)
Composed by Frank Loesser and Jimmy McHugh
Performed by The John Coltrane Quartet
Courtesy of MCA Records
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User Reviews

 
Everything was fine until they hired that babysitter...
2 October 2005 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle is the cornerstone of the trashy chick flick sub-genre. Many films since have used the same formula that makes this one a success, and most have failed. The reason this film is almost a resounding success has nothing to do with the plot or characters, however, it's the way that director Curtis Hanson handles it. The man who would go on to find acclaim with the astounding L.A. Confidential directs with the utmost still, and while there are few absolutely shocking sequences in this film; you would be forgiven for thinking otherwise due to the way that Hanson handles every scene. The movie leaves a lot of room for suspense, and every instant is made the best of by the director. The plot seems rather routine these days (and it probably did back in 1992), as we see a good all-American family hire the 'perfect' babysitter. She's not quite so perfect, however, and as we watch her pull down the family she's supposed to be helping from within, this becomes abundantly clear.

One thing that makes this film hard to like for some people is the fact that almost every motivation in the film is extremely unlikely. Would you hire a babysitter who apparently 'just knew' you wanted one? Wouldn't you become suspicious when everything started going wrong after you hired her? The list goes on, it really does, and it would seem that writer Amanda Silver just wanted to portray certain plots and didn't care too much how the characters fit into them. It's also obvious that the script was written by a woman throughout, with many of the sequences being more aimed towards women. None of these bad points really harm it though, because it's so well handled that it's hard not to just sit back and enjoy yourself. The centrepiece when it comes to the stagy set pieces is definitely the one with the greenhouse, which is both psychologically pleasing and suspense filled. The acting is just fine, with Rebecca De Mornay slotting into the deranged psycho role nicely. The best thing about this film for me is definitely the way that the babysitter manipulates the children and engineers situations to her advantage. This may be trash at the end of the day, but it's fiendishly done!


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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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