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
In the Stephen King novel Doctor Sleep, his sequel to The Shining, he writes the line "the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world"; Rebecca De Mornay played Wendy in the miniseries version of The Shining (1997). See more »
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Much like "Rear Window", this movie brings up a serious question: Whom can you trust? It all begins one day in Seattle, when Claire Bartel (Annabella Sciorra) goes to her gynecologist. She gets the feeling that he's merely fondling her. After she reports this, several other women say the same thing, prompting the gynecologist to commit suicide. Soon afterward, his widow (Rebecca DeMornay) goes into labor. But the baby dies. Now she has only one thing on her mind: revenge.
That's where the movie gets really creepy. Assuming the name Peyton Flanders, she goes to work as a nanny for the Bartels. In the process, she not begins to act as a mother for the new baby, but she gets into everyone's confidence. And if anyone distrusts her...well, let's just say that she's way ahead of them.
If "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle" makes you suspicious of your friends, then it's probably doing it's job. Director Curtis Hanson brings the same kind of intensity that he brought to "LA Confidential" and "8 Mile". You may never feel the same after watching this movie.
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