THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE Add To My Top 10
Release Date: January 10, 1992
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Runtime: 110 minutes
Distributor: Buena Vista
Director: Curtis Hanson
Writer: Amanda Silver
Address Comments To:Jeffrey Katzenberg
Walt Disney Studios
500 South Buena Vista St.
Burbank, CA 91521
The story begins with Claire Bartel bringing charges against Dr. Victor Mott, after he exploits her during a pregnancy exam. The much-publicized case grieves the doctor and causes his expectant wife to hemorrhage and lose their baby.
Blaming Claire for what happened, Mrs. Mott seeks revenge. Under the false name of "Peyton," she begins working for Claire as a nanny.
While taking care of Claire's children, Peyton rigs several disastrous events that appear to be other people's fault. She secretly breast-feeds Claire's newborn baby and attempts to turn her family and closest friends against her.
True to its genre, THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE is a psychological thriller that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat. Without disclosing too much of the story line, viewers should be warned that Peyton ends up stalking the family with a shovel and cutting knife. What seems despicable ends up on a triumphant note, however, as the sharp-witted Bartel family ban together to protect themselves.
Despite its sporadic violence, THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE lacks the supernatural claptrap so prevalent in recent movies. The film tactfully addresses such hard hitting issues as distrust for strangers, sexual misconduct in the doctor/patient relationship and the lure of adultery.
Throughout the story, Peyton attempts to entice Claire's husband. Although the temptation is great, he reminds her that "there is only one woman in my life." His faithfulness to his wife and marriage vows is overwhelming, especially in the face of dramatic tension. Given the subject matter, THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE is an emotionally gripping, thought-provoking film.