Effective supernatural thriller in which a famous pianist (Francen) who has suffered a stroke ekes out his last days in an Italian Gothic mansion, surrounded by grasping relatives. When he finally dies, leaving his fortune to a young niece, the other relatives are well pissed off; so too is secretary Lorre, who wanted not only the old man's loot but also access to his library of books on the occult. Then the dead man's severed hand starts tinkling the ivories, dislodging books, and crawling around the terrified Lorre. The fudged ending imposed by the studio deflates much of the mystery, but the animated hand, creepy piano music, and Lorre's eye-popping performance are all memorable. Fans of Sam Raimi's Evil Dead II will note the derivation of that film's hilarious disembodied hand sequence.
Cast and crew
Peter Lorre Victor Francen Robert Alda Andrea King J Carrol Naish Charles Dingle