The Hand (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Hand
The Hand Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Oliver Stone
Produced by Edward R. Pressman
Written by Oliver Stone
Starring Michael Caine
Andrea Marcovicci
Music by James Horner
Cinematography King Baggot
Edited by Richard Marks
Distributed by Orion Pictures
Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • April 24, 1981 (1981-04-24)
Running time
104 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget CAD 6,500,000
Box office $2,447,576 (USA)

The Hand is a 1981 psychological horror film written and directed by Oliver Stone, based on the novel The Lizard's Tail by Marc Brandell. The film stars Michael Caine and Andrea Marcovicci. Caine plays Jon Lansdale, a comic book artist who loses his hand, which in turn takes on a murderous life of its own. The original film score is by James Horner, in one of his earliest projects. Warner Bros. released the movie on DVD on September 25, 2007.[citation needed]


Jon Lansdale is finishing up a famous work of his called "Mandro", a Prince Valiant/Conan The Barbarian type of character. While they are driving, Anne and Lansdale end up behind a slow-moving truck and an impatient driver behind them. After his final meeting with Wagner, Lansdale comes forth with his intention to take an offer to teach at a small community college in California.

The hand apparently cleans up the mess by the time Lansdale, along with Anne and Lizzie, who have arrived to celebrate Christmas, show up at the house. Not long after, Lansdale once again ends up at the bar with Brian. Confused that Brian should be off on his two-week vacation with Stella, Lansdale discovers that Brian has not seen Stella since the night she came to Lansdale's house. Lansdale awakens with his own hand (the one attached) around his throat while the police are skulking around. The sheriff, with Lizzie in tow, and his deputies attempt to ask Lansdale what happened. While he attempts to explain and he discovers that Anne is not dead, the officers notice a pungent smell permeating the area in the carport around the car, specifically from the trunk. Lansdale tries to prove that nothing is wrong by opening the trunk, only to find Stella and Brian's dead bodies inside. Lansdale looks and screams in horror.

Lansdale, completely taken over by the essence of the hand, looks at her and starts to laugh, loosens the restraint on the other hand and gets up.


Oliver Stone's first choice for the lead was Academy Award-winner Jon Voight, who declined the role. Stone also approached other Oscar-winners Dustin Hoffman and Christopher Walken. Michael Caine, however, after the success of his previous film Dressed to Kill, was interested in making another horror film to earn enough to put a down payment on a new garage he was having built, and he agreed to take the part after talks with the director.[1] Caine's experience with Stone caused him to be friends with him later on during his life, although Stone never again cast Caine in future films.

Critical reception[edit]

The Hand has a Rotten Tomatoes approval rating of 14% based on seven reviews.[2]

Allmovie called the film "an overwrought misfire that is best left to horror film completists."[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Riordan, James (1995). Stone: The Controversies, Excesses, and Exploits of a Radical Filmmaker. Hyperion. p. 121. 
  2. ^ "The Hand". Rotten Tomatoes/Flixster. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  3. ^ Donald Guarisco. "The Hand (1981)". Allmovie. Retrieved 18 June 2012. 

External links[edit]