The Beast With Five Fingers Review

Beast With Five Fingers, The
Locals in an Italian village believe evil has taken over the estate of a recently deceased pianist where several murders have taken place. The alleged killer: the pianist's severed hand.

by Kim Newman |
Published on
Release Date:

25 Dec 1946

Running Time:

88 minutes



Original Title:

Beast With Five Fingers, The

This is one of those semi-classic horror films which contains unforgettably creepy sequences and one or two great performances along with a great deal of fudged plotting, a ludicrous last-reel “explanation” and truly dreadful comic relief. However, the weird stuff is well worth your attention as neurotic Peter Lorre is stalked around an Italian palace by the active severed hand of a recently-dead pianist, which inches along on its fingers, makes sudden grasps at unwary throats and even takes the time to rattle off a concerto (for one hand, naturally) on the baby grand. Lorre is aquiver with tics as the meek madman, but Robert (Alan’s dad) Alda is less impressive as the actual hero and J. Carrol Naish is embarrassing as the comedy policeman. Director Robert Florey shuffles through contrivances to get to the eerie material and certainly delivers the definitive “crawling hand” movie. Trivia note: Buñuel worked on dubbing the Spanish version and restaged scenes in The Exterminating Angel.

This sort of thing has been done a lot better, both before and since,
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