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The Beast with Five Fingers
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the fantastic horror score by the great Max Steiner. The score to this film was re-recorded by William Stromberg and is available on two different compilation CD's right here on Amazon:
STEINER: Lost Patrol (The) / Virginia City
Murder and Mayhem: Suites from The Lodger (1944 Film) / The Beast With Five Fingers (1946 Film) / The Uninvited (1944 Film) [3 on 1]
Worth a watch just for the magnificent Mr. Peter Lorre's delivery of the single line "It was the hand I tell you!!!"
1946 was the last year Peter Lorre worked for Warner Brothers, and his parting from the company was career suicide; while he remains one of the world's most famous actors, endlessly imitated and paid tribute, from his parting with Warner Brothers until his death in 1964, Lorre picked up only the odd film here and there (though some of them are truly excellent) and some TV guest appearances. Thus it is that The Beast with Five Fingers is something of a bittersweet film for the nostalgia buff; it is a great Lorre performance, but it marked the beginning of the end.
Set in the late nineteenth century in northern Italy, The Beast with Five Fingers is the tale of Frances Ingram (Victor Francen), a pianist with a rather motley crew of eccentrics living with him. There's Bruce Conrad (Robert Alda), a smooth con man who's in love with the old pianist's companion/nurse Julie Holden (Andrea King). This wouldn't necessarily be so bad, but read "companion/nurse"as a rough equivalent to "trophy wife" here. Then there's Hilary Cummins (Lorre), a crackpot who's collected a great number of very old books on all sorts of topics while looking for... something, we're never quite sure what. Conrad, con man that he is, is in a state of detente with the local police commissioner, Castano (J. Carrol Naish); they seem to cordially despise one another. Until, that is, the old man finally kicks the bucket, setting off a nasty inheritance battle between Julie and the pianist's blood relations, Raymond (Charles Dingle) and Donald (John Alvin) Arlington. But all of that is beside the point; the real plot here is that the dead pianist's hand was removed, and is now the leading suspect in the murders of some of the inhabitants of the house.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A Film Noir Classic that holds up 75 years later. This film incorporates humor and audience participation into one of the scariest movies I can recall. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Ronald L. Peterson
I was surprised how good this movie is.
The movie comes in a good, sturdy case, not the environmentally damaging ones that have holes in them. Read more
I love old horror movies. If you do too, this is your cup of tea.Published 9 months ago by Roger S.