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YOUNG OLIVER STONE DIRECTS MICHAEL CAINE IN 'THE HAND'

Title: THE HAND Year: 1981 Rating: ***

Michael Caine is good in this otherwise mediocre thriller by first-time director Oliver Stone that centers on a cartoonist (Caine) who loses his hand in an automobile accident, which is technically the most riveting scene, after which he rehabilitates while the severed limb is, or seems to be, crawling around doing his dirty work for him...

Stone’s best direction occurs during taut conversations between Caine and the people around him, providing a suspenseful base liken to stage-influenced British horror films, building character development in lue of cheap shocks...

However, scenes involving The Hand itself look a bit cheesy, dated, and sporadic cuts to black and white seem misplaced, contrasting from our protagonist turned antagonist and revolving side-characters Annie McEnroe as a tempestuous college student, Bruce McGill as a temperamental shrink, and Caine’s cheating wife Andrea Marovicci: his ultimate target in a horror thriller that has moments but loses its grip less than halfway through. Although, witnessing Michael Caine slowly going mad... a role that, according to Stone, took a toll on the actor’s real life... is worth the ninety minutes.

Annie McEnroe in Oliver Stone's THE HAND
Michael Caine in Oliver Stone's THE HAND
Michael Caine in Oliver Stone's THE HAND
Michael Caine in Oliver Stone's THE HAND

 

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