Search - The Hand (1981) on DVD

The Hand (1981)
The Hand
Actors: Michael Caine, Lindfors
Director: Oliver Stone
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
R     2007     1hr 44min

A successful cartoonist loses his hand in a car wreck, and the hand eventually comes back on a murderous rampage.


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Movie Details

Actors: Michael Caine, Lindfors
Director: Oliver Stone
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/25/2007
Original Release Date: 04/24/1981
Theatrical Release Date: 04/24/1981
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 44min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 12
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Like the cut off tail of a lizard
Gunner | Bethlehem,Georgia | 02/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Hand DVD

It features a riveting performance by Michael Caine, a cartoonist, who, after losing his drawing hand in an auto accident caused by his wife who is "separating from him", spirals down into a psychological abyss from which he cannot escape. Oliver Stone's screenplay and direction is well-paced and crisp. The ending is unforeseen and shocking.

Highly recommended for fans of Michael Caine and psycho thrillers

Gunner February, 2008
3.15 STARS: Imaginitive & often misunderstood psychological
HorrorMan | The Marsten House | 05/11/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Perhaps, Oliver Stone's "The Hand" is a bit unfairly criticized when you analyze this movie's merits. This movie is one of the most misunderstood horror movies I have ever observed. Don't get me wrong: this movie is not a classic, but it is better than people give it credit for.

In "The Hand", Michael Caine stars as gifted cartoonist named John Lansdale who is having marital problems. To make matters much worse, Landsdale loses his hand in a fantastic and bloody automobile accident. John must come to terms not only with losing his hand but also his talent as an artist. He is about to lose his cartoonist contract and his cartoon character named "Mandrowe" to someone else that he despises.

With his marriage on the rocks and other emotional problems, Lansdale starts to lose it...he imagines his enemies being killed even an old drunk which turns out to be played by Oliver Stone himself. The interesting and fascinating thing about this movie which most people do not "get" is the dual possibilities of the murders that subsequently take place after Lansdale loses his hand.

In each instance when someone is murdered, Lansdale either blacks out and/or imagines this "hand" murdering people...he dreams about "The Hand" and fears "The Hand". The rhetorical question then becomes whether Lansdale is killing these people himself and "the hand" is his angry alternate personality that he implements in the unconscious mind to carry out these murders OR there really is a "hand" running around murdering, possessed by Lansdale's dark and raging unconscious evil mind.

The intelligent audience is left with the former assumption. It appears that Lansdale is simply crazy by movie's end and the viewer sees the various flashbacks that show Lansdale himself killing these people. But, is it "the hand" indeed that is committing these crimes and Lansdale who is definitely crazy but perhaps, he is right, as ridiculous and absurd as it sounds. Ultimately while driving Lansdale crazy, Lansdale fights with himself or as he sees it with "the hand".

It is clear that "the hand" is either Lansdale base and evil personality or it is an evil and supernatural possession of "the hand" which is not only killing Lansdale's enemies but also is framing him for the murders. After all, they never did find the hand after the automobile accident.

Oliver Stone's "The Hand" is a much better movie than people give it credit for and there is much more to it than meets the eye. In fact, "The Hand" is a psychological horror movie with a twist of either the dark and unconscious mind or an evil supernatural force which manifests itself as "the hand". Michael Caine is absolutely brilliant as John Lansdale in which Caine so eloquently portrays a madman at the brink of losing all sense of reality and forever relegated to the world of the insane. The directing by Stone is also quite good.

So, what is wrong with the movie you might ask? Well, this is no classic by any means and the idea of a hand killing people isn't exactly the scariest or most horrific idea offered to the horror movie genre. Also, the movie seems to drag in spots and become boring as Lansdale engages in cheap sexual conduct with a girl named Stella. Much of the movie also deals with Lansdale's marital problems which involves his wife having an extramarital affair. The script is good, but it is not great and the movie works fairly well as a horror movie, but perhaps much better as psychological thriller.

Even though "The Hand" isn't the best horror movie in the world, it is still a solid horror flick and much better than today's trash being pumped out today like rubbish into a landfill. I admit that "The Hand" is not for everyone and parts of it are indeed boring as the movie drags at times, and it certainly cannot be characterized as a mainstream horror movie or even a great one. That being said, however, because of the great acting and imaginitive and suspenseful plot coupled with a mystery which literally is or is not "the hand" itself, the movie "The Hand" creates a charm all its own and the merits of this movie certainly outweigh any criticisms whether warranted or otherwise.

P.S. Does anyone have any idea if and/or when "The Hand" is coming out on DVD? I am looking to purchase it...please email me with any information at Thanks."
Lost Cult Horror Gem
OverTheMoon | | 01/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Okay if you like to find the little gems that are really good and yet nobody has heard about them then try this Oliver Stone/Michael Caine movie on for size because it is really very good.It is a crime that this is not on DVD yet but hopefully that problem will be resolved by the time you read this review. The premise is a simple one. Michael Caine is an cartoon artist who, in a very brutal traffic accident, looses his hand, which eventually means that he looses his career, life, respect and family in the process.Then murders start occurring in his home town and there is a sneaky suspicion that his hand may be involved. The movie is quite frightening in parts and does have the ability to make you jump... but laugh after. Although this is one of Oliver Stone's early works, and there is a learning curve involved for the director, it still stands streaks and bounds ahead of most other horror films of its generation.The final plot twist should blow your mind. The gravity of it did not dawn on me until the final reel. This was a real surprise ending that ranks up there with the Usual Suspects and some other movies that come to mind. The twist is very good but alas some viewers might work that out before the final revelation comes about.In my opinion this is a little cult gem of a movie that deserves to be watched especially if you like to dig up old forgotten movies that are much better than what the critics have to say. This is one of those.Good intelligent horror. Stone should be proud of it."
Michael Caine is great
mike amenta | Weatogue, CT USA | 07/17/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Enjoyed this movie very much. Background music is riveting. The hand is the silly part of the movie but the acting is great. Caines wife is perfect as the adulterous vixen who really leads Caine down the scary path he takes. I now own 4 movies starring Michael Caine and have to say he can out act any of the Harrison Fords or Brad Pitts of the world. His role here reminds me of his starring role in Deathtrap, a true psycopath"