4 user 7 critic

The Moving Finger (1963)

A rare beatnik artifact of the early 1960s, one of only a few such films made before the hippies took over Hollywood. Low budget and in b&w, it's set in Greenwich Village, with what seems ... See full summary »



On Disc

at Amazon

1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The residents of a quiet English village begin to receive nasty, threatening letters. The wife of the local vicar calls in her friend Miss Marple to investigate.

Stars: Joan Hickson, Michael Culver, Elizabeth Counsell
City on Fire (1979)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  

A pyromaniac, ex-employee of a city oil refinery creates an explosion at the facility which starts a chain-reaction of fires that engulf the entire city.

Director: Alvin Rakoff
Stars: Barry Newman, Susan Clark, Shelley Winters
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Naive young lady Karen wants to help her struggling amateur filmmaker boyfriend Christopher raise enough money so he can divorce his wife. Meanwhile, jolly psycho prankster Otto stalks the ... See full summary »

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Andra Akers, William Finley, Margo Norton
The Lawyer (1970)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Tony Petrocelli, a bright young lawyer practicing in the rich cattle town of Baker, becomes embroiled in a murder case.

Director: Sidney J. Furie
Stars: Barry Newman, Harold Gould, Diana Muldaur
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Following the death of his family in an aeroplane crash, a man plots an elaborate revenge scheme on those responsible. By setting himself up as a criminal, he plans to get close to a ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Tuchner
Stars: Barry Newman, Suzy Kendall, John Vernon
Money Shot II (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.5/10 X  

When given keys to a mansion for the weekend, two friends decide to make a film but end up throwing a huge party and trashing the house. Now they race to get the "money shot" and finish their film to pay for all the damages done.

Director: Bill McAdams Jr.
Stars: Jason Mewes, Josh Hammond, Bill McAdams Jr.
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

During the 1970s, car delivery driver Kowalski delivers hot rods in record time but always runs into trouble with the highway cops.

Director: Richard C. Sarafian
Stars: Barry Newman, Cleavon Little, Dean Jagger
Agatha Christie's Marple (TV Series 2004)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An elderly spinster living in the village of St Mary Mead helps her friends and relatives solve mysterious murders.

Stars: Geraldine McEwan, Julia McKenzie, Stephen Churchett


Credited cast:
Barbara London
Art Smith
Wendy Barrie
Alan Ansara
Monroe Arnold
Otto Mjaanes
Garry Goodrow
Cornelius Jones
Carol Fleming
Henry Howard
Zelda R. Suplee ...
(as Zelda Suplee)
Mike Dana
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Moondog ...


A rare beatnik artifact of the early 1960s, one of only a few such films made before the hippies took over Hollywood. Low budget and in b&w, it's set in Greenwich Village, with what seems like a mostly improvised script. It begins as a late film noir crime tale involving a bank robbery where only one of a group of thieves escapes with his life, as well as $90,000 in loot. Injured and on the run, he hides in a local tour bus and is soon taken in by a group of bohemians who shoot him full of morphine to ease his pain and let him sleep it off on a mattress. Mason is the head beatnik. There's also the owner of both an upstairs coffeehouse and garret, where these beatniks hang out. They, in turn, bring the tourist trade in. Although the robbery is supposed to be the main focus of the plot, it quickly turns into more of a character study featuring these rebellious bon vivants and their odd lifestyle, which includes smoking and selling dope, mooching at art galleries, long conversations ... Written by Richard Santoro

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

December 1963 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Lionel Stander's first film acting role for a dozen years after being blacklisted in the early 1950s. See more »


Anatole: I'm a realistic phony. I know I'm a phony. I don't pretend.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Not a good film, but it's not without interest either
21 October 2006 | by (Worcester, MA) – See all my reviews

In the late 1960s, the Psychedelic generation took over Hollywood. Whether they were legitimate artifacts of the scene ("Easy Rider", "The Trip") or cash-ins on the older generations misunderstandings of them ("Skidoo", "Candy"), they seemed to be everywhere. However, their predecessors, the Beat Generation, inspired a lot less films. Thats why whenever I am able to get my hands on a film dealing with either Beats (as opposed to "Beatniks", the popular culture caricature of a bongo-playing bohemian), it holds a negligible amount of interest for me. This is one of the few films made dealing somewhat honestly with the movement. Its not a good film, but it's not without interest either.

The film is a blend of a Noir style crime story about a fugitive on the lam and a group of shiftless "Bohemian" artists. The crime angle of the film has been done many times and is uninteresting. However, the scenes in the Beat dens with poetry readings and art exhibits are fascinating. Sure the poetry is laughably horrible and the art is also, but its interesting to see a filmmaker attempt to understand them. Larry Moyer's direction is laced with a few nice avant-garde touches also. As for the acting, it isn't horrible. Barry Newman (later of the cult favorite "Vanishing Point") is too clean cut but tries. And the always amusing Lionel Strander ("Once Upon a Time In the West") provides laughs (not sure if they're intentional or not) as the overbearing owner of the club. The music is by Shel Silverstein and look fast for the legendary Moondog. As I said above, this isn't a good film, but anyone with an interest in finding out how the era's filmmakers looked at the Beats are advised to check it out. (6/10)

6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Moving Finger (1963) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: