5.4/10
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49 user 46 critic

The Hand (1981)

A comic book artist loses his hand, which in turn takes on a murderous life of its own.

Director:

Oliver Stone

Writers:

Marc Brandel (novel), Oliver Stone (screenplay)
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ON DISC
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Caine ... Jonathan Lansdale
Andrea Marcovicci ... Anne Lansdale
Annie McEnroe ... Stella Roche
Bruce McGill ... Brian Ferguson
Viveca Lindfors ... Doctress
Rosemary Murphy ... Karen Wagner
Mara Hobel Mara Hobel ... Lizzie Lansdale
Pat Corley ... Sheriff
Nicholas Hormann ... Bill Richamn
Ed Marshall Ed Marshall ... Doctor
Charles Fleischer ... David Maddow
John Stinson John Stinson ... Therapist
Richard Altman Richard Altman ... Hammond
Sparky Watt ... Sergeant
Tracey Walter ... Cop
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Storyline

Jon Lansdale is a comic book artist who loses his right hand in a car accident. The hand was not found at the scene of the accident, but it soon returns by itself to follow Jon around, and murder those who anger him. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It lives. It crawls. And suddenly, it kills. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 April 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La mano See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD 6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$566,736, 26 April 1981, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,447,576
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orion Pictures,Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several additional shots of the hand were filmed after principal shooting on the movie had wrapped. See more »

Goofs

The Christmas carol "Deck The Halls" is heard on the soundtrack but the skipping record shown on the turntable is 'Fight Dirty' by the British pop band Charlie. See more »

Quotes

Anne Lansdale: You mean you actually opened my mail and read this letter?
Jonathan Lansdale: Oh yes, my dearest darling spirit! Sounds like a pile of shit if you ask me.
See more »


Soundtracks

Union City Blue
Performed by Blondie
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User Reviews

 
... on the other hand not bad as an adult drama
8 January 2007 | by manuel-pestalozziSee all my reviews

A part of this movie is pure camp – a severed hand plays a kind of an avenging angel for its former proprietor. Special effects abound. In my opinion they almost destroy the whole movie, especially the final scene – they are more silly than scary.

Strange as it may sound, there is a serious, well acted and superbly constructed drama behind all this. I suspect Oliver Stone wanted to do something in the vein of Kubrick's Shining here. The story has so many similarities that a mere coincidence can be ruled out. A comic book artist feels a midlife crisis coming on. He becomes estranged from his wife and during a bickering scene while she's driving a car the – you know what – event takes place. It is perfectly filmed and the way it comes about is totally plausible. The accident triggers an insane obsession in the main character's life about what is missing – you feel it but you don't have it - and it goes much further than a severed hand. In my opinion Michael Caine does a superb job here playing the disillusioned artist. Andrea Marcovicci is also very good as the wife who is a „woman with principles" and wants to „find herself" – it's stereotype, but high quality stereotype.

The best and really memorable scene of the movie takes place in a class room in the attic of a college deep in the sticks. The Caine character accepted a teaching post there after the accident. The camera takes a glance of the assembled students. They look extremely dumb and devoid of any interest. Caine asks them who is their favorite comic book character. You, Billy? Billy starts thinking hard. After several, very long seconds he answers „I dunno". Caine asks a few other students but does not get better results. The scene creates a perfect atmosphere of disillusionment and doom. A girl at least makes eye contact, and she's not even bad looking. She later looks the Caine character up for some joyless sex, and the bottomless sadness that girl displays throughout is simply heart wrenching and epitomizes the dead end aspect of life one would rather like to forget. Good performance by Annie McEnroe, the girl. Whatever happened to her? I saw her in Stirba-Werewolf Bitch, but, well.


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