The Beast with Five Fingers is a weird, Grand Guignol-ish conconction that puts the customers strictly on their own. Till the last gasp, when J. Carrol Naish winks into the lens and gives out with a crack that 'it could happen', it gives more credit for intelligence than the average thriller.

The Beast with Five Fingers is a weird, Grand Guignol-ish conconction that puts the customers strictly on their own. Till the last gasp, when J. Carrol Naish winks into the lens and gives out with a crack that ‘it could happen’, it gives more credit for intelligence than the average thriller.

Victor Francen, as a semi-invalid concert pianist, lives in a gloomy villa in northern Italy. His companions are his secretary, Peter Lorre; his nurse, Andrea King; a composer friend, Robert Alda, and his attorney, David Hoffman.

A good deal of the plot is projected through Lorre’s eyes, without any explanation of the switches from straight narration to scenes registered by Lorre’s deranged mind. Best and most gruesome parts of the picture are when Lorre is alone with his vivid imagination. He chases a ghoulish hand around the library several times, catching it finally and hammering it down in a bloodcurdling scene reminiscent in mood of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari. Still it pursues him, escaping at last from the burning coals into which he has thrown it.

The Beast with Five Fingers

Production

Warner. Director Robert Florey; Producer William Jacobs; Screenplay Curt Siodmak; Camera Wesley Anderson; Editor Frank Magee; Music Max Steiner; Art Director Stanley Fleischer

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1946. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Robert Alda Andrea King Peter Lorre Victor Francen
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