The Hand That Rocks The Cradle [Blu-ray]
20th Anniversary Edition
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Relive all the chills and excitement of the critically acclaimed thriller THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE in a sensational 20th Anniversary Edition. Rebecca De Mornay (RISKY BUSINESS) is at her brilliant best in this riveting drama available for the first time on Blu-ray, featuring a digital restoration with enhanced picture and sound. Claire Bartel has the perfect life and family...exactly what her new live-in housekeeper, Peyton Flanders, desires. How far will Peyton go when the life she wants belongs to someone else? And will it be too late for Claire to stop her? Experience every breathtaking moment like never before on Blu-ray!
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.