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Showing 1-10 of 236 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 331 reviews
on October 26, 2014
Curtis Hanson's "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle" comes out of the starting gate with guns blazing. Within the first 7 or so minutes, the script makes us squirm about several issues, starting with white suburbia's fear of black men in hoodies, which then turns into the awkwardness of dealing with those that have mental disabilities. Having gotten our attention, screenwriter Amanda Silver then sends us along with Annabella Sciorra to the ob/gyn, where John de Lancie -- yeah, him, freaking "Q" from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" -- contrives to send the assisting nurse out of the examination room while giving Sciorra breast and pelvic exams. For the latter, he surreptitiously removes the latex glove from the examining hand. Sciorra, by the way, is pregnant. Well, Sciorra leaves in a panic, sucking on an aspirator for her asthma. She calls her husband home, tells him about the molestation, they report it, other women find courage to come forward, and the miscreant De Lancie finds himself on the evening news. He blows his brains out. Next, we see his widow, Rebecca De Mornay, surrounded by lawyers who tell her that she will likely inherit nothing from De Lancie's estate, and that she'll have to move out of their mansion. She rises unsteadily: she is also pregnant, it turns out. A lawyer asks her if she needs help; she replies with one of the most baleful glares I've ever seen in a movie. As she tries to leave the room, she collapses. Next, the emergency room, where she bloodily miscarries. The opening stretch ends with her gazing soullessly at the hospital room TV, where the news is (completely unrealistically, but who cares?) reporting Sciorra's story, complete with her photo. Plans for revenge form.

It's one of the most disturbing opening sequences for a thriller ever devised.

Cybil Shepherd had originally been considered for the role of De Mornay's psychotic nanny. She demurred, famously saying that "the story preyed on the worst fears of women" and that it conflicted with her feminist beliefs. She might have had a point. After all, Sciorra's heroine is made rather helpless both by her asthma and her apparent stupidity. She hires a luscious, thirtyish blonde to be a nanny. She needs that nanny so that she can build a greenhouse in her backyard. What woman with a 3-month-old infant has the energy or inclination to be out working in the yard eight hours a day? She has made a best friend out of her husband's old flame, Julianne Moore. Moore may be married to another guy, but I'm not buying that a married woman enjoys hanging out with her husband's former girlfriend (and vice versa, actually). One starts to wonder if Sciorra's gullibility and stupidity are conscious decisions by screenwriter Silver. Is this movie a manual for young mothers? -- Don't Do What Claire Does, Now on Blu-Ray. Or perhaps a chance for viewers to enjoy feeling superior to stupid people in movies? You decide.

Well, if the movie isn't a feminist one, it isn't because men are calling the shots, that's for sure. First of all, we've got Matt McCoy as the bearded, sweater-wearing, scientist husband. Not only does he look like Kenny Loggins, he looks like he *listens* to Kenny Loggins records. He's like the anti-matter of all that is masculine. De Mornay comes on to him a few times, but he lacks the initiative to either dive into the pool of extramarital bliss or to kick her out of the house as an interloper: he just stares at her impotently as she stands dripping wet before him. Then there's Ernie Hudson as the family's mentally disabled handyman Solomon. While his character's name is a clue to his ultimate wisdom about De Mornay, he nonetheless has to endure her calling him a "retard" and slapping him in the face. The transgression of such a scene -- a beautiful psycho blonde slapping around a tall, bulky African-American and calling him names -- is shocking, to say the least. Not quite sure you'd see such a scene in a mainstream movie today.

So yeah, it's De Mornay calling the shots around here. Her plan is not to wipe out Sciorra's family and let her stew in suicidal grief: such a plan is too finite for De Mornay's lunatic ambition. Rather, she works to supplant Sciorra entirely. Like Iago, she's incessantly improvising, using the slightest materials to break down Sciorra: a dropped earring, a missing package, a pair of child's underwear, a dropped hint here and there. I frankly don't know why she doesn't succeed, given the weaknesses of her enemies. Well, I guess Evil Triumphant is a bit too much, even for the Lifetime crowd. It's perhaps more than enough that the specters of the abuse of the mentally disabled, child molestation, sexual assault, and the terrifying humiliation of being *supplanted* by another woman in one's roles of wife and mother are given their full rancid vent in this classic, transgressive neo-noir.

5 out of 5.
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on August 29, 2016
This is an excellent movie. Watching it as a teenager I was riveted, and almost two decades later I still think it is a great movie with plenty of twists and turns. I personally like the dated look of the clothing and décor in the film and think it is a fun look at the early 90s. All of the acting is top notch including the little girl in the movie. It's a little weird seeing Julianne Moore in her smallish role, too. I am glad I bought this DVD and have shared it with a bunch of my friends who also remember watching it when it was current. It has held up much better than a lot of "thriller" flicks from that era.
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on May 17, 2012
I am a huge fan of psychological thrillers. This film is one that I've just encountered. The story is riveting from start to finish. Exploring the universal theme of revenge, this movie depicts the harrowing quest of a family struggling to survive against an insidious yet ruthless evil.

Clare is embroilled in a dilemma. She believes that she has suffered molestation during a routine exam given by her gynocologist. After Clare reports the doctor to the police, several other women come forward to report simelar allegations. Dr. Mott cannot withstand the devastation to his practice and commits suicide. The doctor's mentally unhinged wife systematically plots her revenge against Clare and her family. Posing as a nanny named Payton Flanders, Mrs. Mott gains ascendancy over the family through her kind facade. Gradually, Clare begins to suspect that things are not what they seem.

I found this story to be very compelling. My favorite aspect was the psychological mind games instigated by the character of Mrs. Mott. We see that evil systematically erodes trust of others before it pursues the outright disstruction of its prey. I love the heroic actions of Clare, and the other individuals in the family are very endearing.

The acting in this film is superb. Rebecca Da Mornay is chilling as the psychotic caregiver. She brings a malevolence yet oddly empathetic portrayal to a role that could have easily degenerated into campy material. The woman portraying Clare is excellent, and the little girl who plays the young daughter is great. I also love the man who portrays Solomon, a mentally challenged yet wise gardener and fix-it man. This movie is one that should be watched for entertainment and for a stunning portrait of the universal struggle of good and evil. God bless you all.
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on June 20, 2016
It is an interesting film with the theme of not everything is as it seems or never judge a book by its cover. Peyton, seemingly looking like a nice lady, is devious, dangerous, and downright frightening and Solomon, though slow due to learning disabilities, is immediately judged as a threat on not one but TWO occasions when he only has the best of intentions for the family. If anything, its much more than a thriller, its an examination on how we all should revisit our opinions of people well past first impressions. "Not everyone who smiles in your face is your friend"
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on March 30, 2017
Wow!! What a nut job.I wanted to strangle her.The ending was on point.Just goes to show you,what we will do when our family is threatened.It goes to show you what extreme some people will go to when they think,and believe they are entitled to hurt others because of their loss.This movie is a must see.
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on November 5, 2016
The only reason I bought this one was for Rebecca Demornay mostly cause you don't see her very often now a days but its still kind of creepy in its own right.
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on April 1, 2017
This movie is old but I still really like it. I first watched it way back when.
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on April 20, 2017
Great movie! Arrive in same condition. A must-have classic for your movie collection. They just don't make too many movies like this now.
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on March 23, 2017
Old fav but wish it had more special features though
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on July 5, 2014
This film stars Annabella Sciorra as Claire Bartel and Rebecca De Mornay as nanny, Peyton Flanders. Claire's life becomes upset when her new gynecologist employs inappropriate behavior and she is encouraged by her husband to file criminal charges. Being the coward that such a person is the doctor commits suicide rather than face up to hiss charges. Six months later Claire's son is born and a new nanny accidentally shows up with a credible story. But Claire's troubles only begin when Peyton proves to becomes the nanny from Hell! Lots of noted people in this one. It is a really good film, but, am not wild about Sciorra. Otherwise I'd give it a full five. This disc does have the trailer and film recommendations, but, that is all for those who care about that. The film is subtitled in English for the hearing impaired.
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