Hands of a Stranger (1962)

86 mins | Horror | June 1962

Director:

Newt Arnold

Writer:

Newt Arnold

Cinematographer:

Henry Cronjager

Editor:

Bert Honey

Production Designer:

Theobold Holsopple

Production Company:

Glenwood-Névé Productions
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HISTORY

The 15 Jun 1960 DV reported that newly formed Glenwood-Névé Productions was planning its first feature, provisionally titled Hands of Terror. The company resulted from the merger of filmmaker Newt Arnold's Glenwood Productions, and producer Michael DuPont's Névé, Inc. Two months later, the 15 Aug 1960 DV noted that Arnold and DuPont moved their operation to Desilu Studios in Hollywood, CA. A news item in the 19 Jul 1960 issue identified Lee Lukather as production manager, although he was soon replaced by Vernon Keays, as stated in the 18 Aug 1960 DV.
       As the start of production approached, the 8 Sep 1960 DV reported the new title as The Answer! Principal photography began 13 Sep 1960, according to a production chart in the 16 Sep 1960 DV. That same issue noted the casting of child actor Barry Gordon, who had a hit record in 1955 with the novelty song, "Nuttin' For Christmas." On 5 Oct 1960, DV announced the completion of photography, claiming it was only sixteen minutes over schedule.
       A preview screening was held at the Directors Guild Theatre in Hollywood, CA, on 26 Apr 1961, as noted in the 19 Apr 1961 DV. On 5 Feb 1962, DV reported that the film would be distributed by Allied Artists, with the official title, Hands of a Stranger. The 13 Mar 1962 issue announced the upcoming release, scheduled for twelve days later.
       According to box office reports in the 13 Jun 1962 Var, the picture ... More Less

The 15 Jun 1960 DV reported that newly formed Glenwood-Névé Productions was planning its first feature, provisionally titled Hands of Terror. The company resulted from the merger of filmmaker Newt Arnold's Glenwood Productions, and producer Michael DuPont's Névé, Inc. Two months later, the 15 Aug 1960 DV noted that Arnold and DuPont moved their operation to Desilu Studios in Hollywood, CA. A news item in the 19 Jul 1960 issue identified Lee Lukather as production manager, although he was soon replaced by Vernon Keays, as stated in the 18 Aug 1960 DV.
       As the start of production approached, the 8 Sep 1960 DV reported the new title as The Answer! Principal photography began 13 Sep 1960, according to a production chart in the 16 Sep 1960 DV. That same issue noted the casting of child actor Barry Gordon, who had a hit record in 1955 with the novelty song, "Nuttin' For Christmas." On 5 Oct 1960, DV announced the completion of photography, claiming it was only sixteen minutes over schedule.
       A preview screening was held at the Directors Guild Theatre in Hollywood, CA, on 26 Apr 1961, as noted in the 19 Apr 1961 DV. On 5 Feb 1962, DV reported that the film would be distributed by Allied Artists, with the official title, Hands of a Stranger. The 13 Mar 1962 issue announced the upcoming release, scheduled for twelve days later.
       According to box office reports in the 13 Jun 1962 Var, the picture opened the previous week on a double bill with Hitler (1962, see entry) at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, MI. A full-page advertisement in the 12 Sep 1962 DV reported openings that day at nineteen locations in Los Angeles, CA. The film received a lukewarm review in the 17 Sep 1962 DV, which described it as "an okay entry for the program market."
       The following year, the 2 Oct 1963 Var noted that Allied Artists was packaging Hands of a Stranger with twenty-three other science fiction films, for distribution to more than 100 television stations.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
15 Jun 1960
p. 4.
Daily Variety
19 Jul 1960
p. 3.
Daily Variety
15 Aug 1960
p. 3.
Daily Variety
18 Aug 1960
p. 2.
Daily Variety
8 Sep 1960
p. 4.
Daily Variety
16 Sep 1960
p. 3, 8.
Daily Variety
5 Oct 1960
p. 2.
Daily Variety
19 Apr 1961
p. 5.
Daily Variety
5 Feb 1962
p. 3.
Daily Variety
13 Mar 1962
p. 4.
Daily Variety
12 Sep 1962
p. 7.
Daily Variety
17 Sep 1962
p. 3.
Variety
13 Jun 1962
p. 8.
Variety
17 Oct 1962
p. 8.
Variety
2 Oct 1963
p. 53.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Key grip
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dir
Prop master
COSTUMES
Men`s ward
Women's ward
MUSIC
Mus comp & cond
SOUND
Sd mixer
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr supv
Tech adv
Exec secy
Asst to the prod
SOURCES
LITERARY
Loosely based on an idea from the novel Les mains d'Orlac by Maurice Renard.
MUSIC
"How's Your Mother" by John Mosher, played by Red Norvo Quintette.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Answer!
Hands of Terror
Release Date:
June 1962
Premiere Information:
Detroit opening: early June 1962
Los Angeles opening: 12 September 1962
Production Date:
13 September--early October 1960
Copyright Claimant:
Glenwood-Névé Productions
Copyright Date:
27 March 1962
Copyright Number:
LP21679
Duration(in mins):
86
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

The hands of pianist Vernon Paris are horribly mutilated in a taxicab accident, and Dr. Gil Harding replaces them with those of a murdered man. Dina (Vernon's sister) and George Britton (his manager) permit the transplant, believing it to be the only hope of Vernon's playing again. Though the operation is a physical success, Vernon is mentally incapable of accepting his new hands. Morose, he visits his girl friend, Elleen Hunter, and is shattered psychologically when she is repelled by his scarred wrists. Consequently, when she knocks over a candlestick and sets fire to her gown, Vernon allows her to burn to death. He visits the home of the cab driver responsible for the accident and hears his son play the piano. Vernon then tries to play, but unable to do so, he attacks the boy, who hits his head on an obstruction and dies. Now bent on total revenge, Vernon kills one of the surgeons who assisted at the transplantation and the young doctor's fiancée. Half-crazed, he goes to an empty concert hall and maniacally pounds a piano keyboard. When his sister and Dr. Harding appear, Vernon grabs the doctor and attempts to strangle him. He is prevented from committing still another murder by the timely arrival of the ... +


The hands of pianist Vernon Paris are horribly mutilated in a taxicab accident, and Dr. Gil Harding replaces them with those of a murdered man. Dina (Vernon's sister) and George Britton (his manager) permit the transplant, believing it to be the only hope of Vernon's playing again. Though the operation is a physical success, Vernon is mentally incapable of accepting his new hands. Morose, he visits his girl friend, Elleen Hunter, and is shattered psychologically when she is repelled by his scarred wrists. Consequently, when she knocks over a candlestick and sets fire to her gown, Vernon allows her to burn to death. He visits the home of the cab driver responsible for the accident and hears his son play the piano. Vernon then tries to play, but unable to do so, he attacks the boy, who hits his head on an obstruction and dies. Now bent on total revenge, Vernon kills one of the surgeons who assisted at the transplantation and the young doctor's fiancée. Half-crazed, he goes to an empty concert hall and maniacally pounds a piano keyboard. When his sister and Dr. Harding appear, Vernon grabs the doctor and attempts to strangle him. He is prevented from committing still another murder by the timely arrival of the police. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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