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The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992)

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After her humiliated husband kills himself, an embittered pregnant widow loses her child, and embarks on a mission of vengeance against a woman and her family.

Director:

Curtis Hanson

Writer:

Amanda Silver
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Popularity
4,912 ( 270)
5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Annabella Sciorra ... Claire Bartel
Rebecca De Mornay ... Mrs. Mott / Peyton Flanders
Matt McCoy ... Michael Bartel
Ernie Hudson ... Solomon
Julianne Moore ... Marlene Craven
Madeline Zima ... Emma Bartel
John de Lancie ... Dr. Victor Mott
Kevin Skousen Kevin Skousen ... Marty Craven
Mitchell Laurance ... Lawyer
Justin Zaremby Justin Zaremby ... Roth, the Schoolyard Bully
Eric Melander Eric Melander ... Joey 'Joe' Bartel
Jennifer Melander Jennifer Melander ... Joey 'Joe' Bartel
Ashley Melander Ashley Melander ... Joey 'Joe' Bartel
Cliff Lenz Cliff Lenz ... Seattle Today Host
Penny LeGate Penny LeGate ... Seattle Today Host
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Storyline

Peyton Flanders (Rebecca De Mornay) seemed to be the perfect nanny, but secretly she was out to wreck the lives of the family she was supposed to be helping. Before becoming the nanny, Peyton had a miscarriage due to the stress caused by the death of her husband, Dr. Victor Mott (John de Lancie), and blamed it on Claire (the mother, played by Annabella Sciorra),. Claire suspects nothing, having never met Peyton before. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Behind a beautiful face, beneath a dangerous smile, lies a rage that can't be stopped. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for terror, violence, a scene of sexual molestation, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 January 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La mano que mece la cuna See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,700,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$88,036,683
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is parodied in the Wayans Brothers' comedy series In Living Color during the skit "The Fist That Rocks the Cradle". See more »

Goofs

When Michael goes downstairs because he hears opera music playing in Peyton's room, the indicator lights for the alarm and PM time on the clock radio change from two lights to one and back again. See more »

Quotes

[on the phone]
Peyton Flanders: Who is this?
Marlene 'Marl' Craven: Marlene Craven, you want me to spell it?
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the end credits roll, we see the Bartel residence. See more »

Connections

Referenced in All Over the Guy (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

MY GALLANT CREW GOOD MORNING
from "H.M.S. Pinafore"
Written by W.S. Gilbert (uncredited) and Arthur Sullivan (uncredited)
Performed by The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company
Courtesy of London Records
A Division of PolyGram Classics
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rebecca de Mornay is the nanny from hell...scary thriller...
31 December 2006 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

You have to hand it to the makers of THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE--once the story starts to unravel, you have to stay tuned to find out how this manipulative bitch will get her comeuppance. It's as simple as that. We know from the start that she has evil intentions, but we never know how evil they are until she starts a series of manipulative acts that demonstrate how cunning and remorseless she is.

REBECCA de MORNAY is so convincingly evil that you have to wonder why her career didn't skyrocket after this. It's a performance worthy of award consideration, but both she and the film itself have been largely forgotten. None of the supporting players, with the exception of JULIANNE MOORE, have become household names but they're all quite effective.

The ending may be somewhat predictable--and most welcome when it finally comes--but it's still stylishly done and a satisfying conclusion to a tale of household terror when a nanny's rage goes amok because of an incident in her past involving a woman whom she perceives as ruining her husband's life. Sure, it's been done before, but never quite so cunningly presented.


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