Hands of a Stranger



Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 12%
IMDb Rating 5.2 10 808

surgeon hand

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN
August 01, 2022 at 04:41 PM


Top cast

Barry Gordon as Skeet Wilder
791.95 MB
English 2.0
59.94 fps
1 hr 25 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by planktonrules 2 / 10

Subtle it ain't!

If this film seems familiar, it might be because you've seen "Mad Love" (1935) or either version of "The Hands of Orlac" (1924/1960). "Hands of a Stranger" is essentially a reworking of this story. In all four films, a concert pianist loses his hands in an accident and receives transplanted hands--and the hands are, apparently, evil and have a mind of their own! What makes this film a bit difference is that the surgeon is not evil--just an over-actor! And the same can clearly be said about the pianist's sister--who seems to be trying her best to upstage the doctor's occasionally overwrought performance! Ditto for the pianist. Once he has his bandages removed, so is all restraint--and he begins battling for the best over-acting award! My vote is for the sister...but her crazy brother sure gives her a run for the money! Regardless, this movie lacks subtlety and is filled with many scenes that are simply overdone. And I loved how practically every time the pianist touched someone they died!! It was actually pretty funny--though sadly the film was not intended as a comedy.

The bottom line is that I've seen the 1935 and 1924 films and they are excellent--highly enjoyable and clever. "Hands of a Stranger", in contrast, is heavy-handed and a bit dumb...no...a lot dumb. Really, really dumb. But, because it is so bad, it actually is worth seeing just for a few laughs.

By the way, looks for a young Barry Gordon as a piano-playing kid. He's pretty cute and has a memorable encounter with the crazed pianist. Also, get a load of the Doctor and his bedside manner. He sure loves slapping patients! I wonder which medical school taught him that!

Reviewed by Scarecrow-88 6 / 10

Hands of a Stranger

A talented pianist, Vernon Paris(James Stapleton)has played the greatest concert of his life with a future as bright as could possibly be..until his hands are mangled and broken after his taxi driver, whose attention was diverted, crashes. A dedicated and intensely driven surgeon, Dr. Gil Harding(Paul Lukather), who pushes himself too hard in saving every life under his care regardless of the circumstances, is able to successfully transplant a mysterious murdered man's hands onto Vernon whose own were damaged beyond repair. Awakening to the horror that he no longer possessed the delicate, skilled hands that so wonderfully played such soaring melodies, Vernon rejects the new ones grafted to him. Psychologically traumatized, Vernon begins to violently react towards those he condemns for the new hands that aren't able to adjust to the piano keys that once brought beauty to the world. This includes those who contributed to the surgery and his tragic fate..Gil's doctors and the son of the taxi driver who caused the crash(..also Vernon's glamorous society gal who left him for another after discovering his accident).

Overly dramatic, talky, with loud, pounding score attempting to increase the level of weight regarding the characters and story can sometimes make the presentation a bit difficult, but I appreciated the ambitious nature behind the filmmakers in telling a compelling tale about how tragedy effects the lives of many when talent is taken from someone who has prepared his whole life for success. Director Newt Arnold, who also wrote the intelligent and thought-provoking screenplay, uses his camera to emphasize the importance of the hands, their movements and abilities, even focusing on the psychological impact of losing your own and being stuck with those alien to you. I like how Arnold differentiates the changes in the hands, once gentle, bringing only beauty, then strong and powerful creating only death. Arnold establishes that anything(..anyone)Vernon touches, he destroys. The performances are pretty intense and melodramatic, but the situation within the story warrants such heated emotions and debates. Still, one major problem that this film suffers from, I felt, is that Vernon is hard to sympathize with because he seems quite egotistical, arrogant, and the type yearning for the spotlight and fame..he has worked hard for this glory, but it's hard to really embrace him because he's obsessed with beauty to the point that it's the only thing of importance. When this is taken away from him, Vernon immediately sours, pointing fingers at the very ones who, at the very least, gave him new hands. I thought Lukather was very good as the determined surgeon, with a commanding presence, providing his character with an authority. Laurence Haddon is Lt. Syms, who hounds Gil for answers regarding the missing hands from the dead, unidentified man, patient, but steadily getting restless and assertive when the victims start adding up. Harvey, as Vernon's concerned sister, Dina(..and Gil's love interest), can be a bit overwhelming in her histrionics(..her overheated exchange with Gil over Vernon's unfortunate problem is almost cringe-worthy), but when settled/toned down, she isn't too bad. Some impressive photography with Arnold capturing faces/images quite well for extra impact(..the funhouse mirror gag is quite a powerful moment truly displaying the torment Vernon is facing in a visual way).

Reviewed by Doylenf 5 / 10

Lackluster version of the "hands" that had a mind of their own...

A talky script and some overacting in key scenes doesn't help put the viewer in the right frame of mind to enjoy this oft told story of hands that are sewn onto a pianist after he loses use of his hands in an accident.

Nobody in the cast has any "name" value and I see that in many of these reviews people are confusing the leading male characters by crediting the wrong names of the actors.

For clarification, it's James Stapleton who plays the pianist with a sensitive but expressionless face. His looks are reminiscent of Hurd Hatfield's in "The Picture of Dorian Gray" who also kept a mask-like facial expression. The doctor is played with slightly more animation by Paul Lukather and has a more sympathetic role. The victimized Stapleton resents the doctor's surgery to the extent that he becomes arrogant and spiteful enough to emerge a killer.

Some of the B&W photography is in the film noir category but everyone is let down by an uninspired script and less than polished direction.

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