6.8/10
404
8 user 2 critic

The Thieving Hand (1908)

A one-armed man obtains an artificial limb. The man cannot control his new arm, which steals from passers-by.

Director:

(uncredited)

Star:

Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The fiend faces the spectacular mind-bending consequences of his free-wheeling rarebit binge.

Directors: Wallace McCutcheon, Edwin S. Porter
Stars: Jack Brawn
The Black Imp (1905)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A traveler at an inn is harassed by a mischievous devil in his room.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Animation | Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An enthusiastic young couple is astounded with modern technology's giant leaps in the fascinating field of electricity.

Director: Segundo de Chomón
Stars: Segundo de Chomón, Julienne Mathieu
Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A demonic magician attempts to perform his act in a strange grotto, but is confronted by a Good Spirit who opposes him.

Directors: Segundo de Chomón, Ferdinand Zecca
Animation | Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A cartoonist defies reality when he draws objects that become three-dimensional after he lifts them off his sketch pad.

Director: J. Stuart Blackton
Stars: J. Stuart Blackton
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

This short experimental film tells the story of a man who comes to Hollywood to become a star, only to fail and be dehumanized (he is identified by the number 9314 written on his forehead),... See full summary »

Directors: Robert Florey, Slavko Vorkapich
Stars: Jules Raucourt, Voya George, Robert Florey
Short | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A group of travelers go into a house for protection. Little do they know, it is filled with ghosts who make unusual things happen to them.

Director: Segundo de Chomón
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A band-leader assembles an orchestra by mystifying means.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Fantasmagorie (1908)
Animation | Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The first all-animated film in history, a series of scenes without much narrative structure, but morphing into each other.

Director: Émile Cohl
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Two demons throw helpless captives into a boiling cauldron, and then try to summon forth their spirits.

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two travelers are tormented by Satan from inn to inn and eventually experience a buggy ride through the heavens courtesy of the Devil before he takes one of them down to Hell and roasts him... See full summary »

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
Short | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Porter's sequential continuity editing links several shots to form a narrative of firemen responding to a house fire. They leave the station with their horse drawn pumper, arrive on the ... See full summary »

Directors: George S. Fleming, Edwin S. Porter
Stars: Vivian Vaughan, Arthur White, James H. White
Edit

Cast

Uncredited cast:
...
Edit

Storyline

A one-armed street peddler notices that a well-to-do man has dropped his ring, and the peddler returns it to him. The wealthy man is very grateful, and to show his appreciation he takes the peddler to a 'Limb Store', where he pays for a new arm to be attached where his own is missing. But the man soon finds out that his new arm seems to have a will of its own, as it does some things that cause him considerable embarrassment. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy | Short

Certificate:

Unrated
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 February 1908 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A tolvaj kéz  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Print preserved by George Eastman House. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Amputees beware
12 September 2008 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

When it came to "trick films" of the early 1900s, Frenchman Georges Méliès was the clear forerunner, not only for his two major masterpieces {'A Trip to the Moon (1902)' and 'The Impossible Voyage (1904)'}, but also his huge catalogue of minor gimmick shorts, a cinematic extension of his stage magician acts. On the other side of the Atlantic, director Stuart J. Blackton must surely have been the American equivalent, most notable for producing perhaps the first ever animated cartoon {see 'Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906)' or perhaps even 'The Enchanted Drawing (1900)'}. 'The Thieving Hand (1908)' is impressive because, above all else, it is most concerned with its story, something akin to what Chaplin would be doing a few years later, and tries carefully to keep the camera tricks – mostly substitution cuts – as inconspicuous as possible. The film has recently been restored from its only surviving copy, and is accessible on the excellent "Treasures from the American Film Archives" DVD, albeit minus the final seconds, which are believed lost.

When a one-armed street-peddler graciously returns a lost ring to a grateful philanthropist, he unwittingly discovers that every blessing is a disaster in disguise. The man is rewarded with an expensive mechanical arm from the local "limb store," but it doesn't take long for him to realise that this new appendage has been programmed with a life of its own. As the peddler honestly goes about his daily business, his left hand discreetly pick-pockets every passer-by, eventually getting him in trouble with the authorities. It is only after he is thrown into a jail cell that the criminal hand reveals its origin, and the reason for its unlawful habit. All this surreal craziness is played out with a surprisingly straight face, as though it's not entirely unusual to see a dismembered arm scooting purposefully across the floor (this particular effect was achieved with wires). A successful attempt to blend a comic narrative with early visual effects, 'The Thieving Hand' is a very enjoyable five minute interlude – it also foreshadows Dr. Strangelove's maniacal Nazi arm.


3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page