What You Need To Know:
(L, VV, N, S, A/D, M) 5 obscenities; hemorrhaging blood, hitting people over the head with shovel, woman hit in face and knocked across table, stalking with crowbar and knife, & glass ceiling falls on woman; naturalistic breast feeding & woman in skimpy undergarments; subject of sexual misconduct & reference to fellatio; smoking cigarettes & alcohol consumption; and, suicide.
Charges of sexual misconduct filed against a gynecologist backfire when the physician’s wife seeks revenge by going to work for the victim as an incognito nanny. With clever twists and turns, THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE sets off a chain of events which nearly destroy the victim and her family, yet ultimately allow for good to triumph over evil.
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.