The Beast With Five Fingers

  • 1946
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Horror

A taut, genuinely scary psychodrama which gave vent to Lorre's weird mannerisms and produced some marvelous special effects created by director Florey. An invalid, retired concert pianist living in a rural Italian villa dies mysteriously, leaving his considerable wealth to his private nurse in a newly drafted will. When the will is contested by the pianist's...read more

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A taut, genuinely scary psychodrama which gave vent to Lorre's weird mannerisms and produced some marvelous special effects created by director Florey. An invalid, retired concert pianist living in a rural Italian villa dies mysteriously, leaving his considerable wealth to his private nurse

in a newly drafted will. When the will is contested by the pianist's associates, the villa and its occupants are suddenly terrorized by an unknown creature which turns out to be the disembodied hand of the pianist which has been severed by Lorre, the rich man's personal secretary. Lorre is sorely

vexed at being cut out of the will and cut off from the villa which contains a tremendous library on astrology of which he is an obsessive student. Accompanied by a chilling score and startling sound effects, the hand stalks the hallucinating Lorre from behind books, across rooms, and out of

boxes. No matter what Lorre does to stop it--nailing it to a desk, throwing it into a fire--he cannot escape its final vengeance. Florey, who had originally been drafted by Universal to direct FRAKENSTEIN in 1931 (and taken off that project to create MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE, 1932), wanted large

expressionistic sets for THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS along with absolute control. He got nothing of the kind, but still managed to provide a good little thriller. The closeups of the disembodied and menacing hand were of Florey's very own five fingers. To accomplish shots showing the hand playing

the piano, pianist Erwin Nyrigegyhazi was covered in black with only his hand shown moving across the keyboard. This was Warner Brothers' sole contribution to the horror genre in the 1940s--and one of the best of that period.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A taut, genuinely scary psychodrama which gave vent to Lorre's weird mannerisms and produced some marvelous special effects created by director Florey. An invalid, retired concert pianist living in a rural Italian villa dies mysteriously, leaving his consi… (more)

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