5.5/10
5,225
54 user 52 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)
2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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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
Edward Marshall Edward Marshall ... Doctor (as Ed Marshall)
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:

CAD6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$566,736, 26 April 1981

Gross USA:

$2,447,576

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,447,576
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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

Sir Michael Caine said in a television interview that the only reason he did this movie was to earn enough money to put a down payment on a new garage he was having built. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Bloody Knuckles (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Union City Blue
Performed by Blondie
See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE HAND (Oliver Stone, 1981) **
20 March 2007 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

Nobody can ever accuse Michael Caine of not having had a fascinating career. His incredibly prolific filmography (132 appearances and counting in just over 50 years) is littered with high highs (a handful of all-time classics and 2 Academy Awards) and low lows (actually, from quite early on in his career to, unsurprisingly, the present day). Still, the latter bunch are, for all their glaring faults, hardly unwatchable and, at times, fairly tolerable and this rare horror item is certainly among his more interesting failures.

Apart from its horror elements and the chance to watch another Michael Caine stinker (although, as it turns out, Jon Voight and Christopher Walken had both previously turned down the lead role), the film's main draw nowadays is watching an early (though not the first) directorial stint from Oliver Stone (he even has an amusing unbilled cameo as an ill-fated tramp) and, most intriguingly, within an exploitation genre from which he has distanced himself completely since then. As I mentioned earlier, the film ends up being less the disastrous embarrassment I had anticipated and more a watchable (if hardly original) horror flick which moves rather slowly but has has the occasional effective shock moment to satiate genre fans. In fact, Stone infuses the film with a modicum of style including subjective shots from the marauding hand's point of view, delirious dream sequences often shot in monochrome and, most incredibly, an utterly grisly freak car accident sequence (with fake blood galore) early on in the film in which cartoonist Caine loses his drawing hand and which sets the narrative in motion.

The thing is that, while it starts well enough, the film is soon bogged down by repetitive marital squabbles between an increasingly unhinged Caine and his free-spirited wife Andrea Marcovicci. Besides, Caine's stump is not exactly the greatest and, when all is said and done, we have been here once too often and I only need to point out the other more notable cinematic examples of "the walking hand" - THE HANDS OF ORLAC (1924), MAD LOVE (1935) THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS (1946), THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL (1962), DR. TERROR'S HOUSE OF HORRORS (1965) and ...AND NOW THE SCREAMING STARTS! (1973) - for this film's relative redundance to become apparent. Still, that such an old-fashioned concept was revived at this point in time and by these film-makers is extraordinary in itself but, even if they did try to bring it up-to-date with the addition of gore and sleaze, I can't say I was too surprised by the twist ending which - while not making a great deal of sense and somewhat dispelling the strong similarities with Michael Caine's previous role in another imitative (but much more successful) slasher, DRESSED TO KILL (1980), which had previously been to the fore - provided Hollywood veteran Viveca Lindfors with a very brief but notable cameo as Caine's no-nonsense shrink.


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