Show of hands!


The received wisdom is that the eyes are windows to the soul… but hands do the heavy lifting. My eyes tend to gravitate towards hands, both in real life and reel life. Hand shadows on the wall made for, if not the first form of public entertainment, one of the earliest forms of storytelling and countless years later you can tell a lot about a character by what he or she does with his or her hands. But enough palaver; to paraphrase Shakespeare, let’s let hands do what lips do and allow this show of hands to speak for itself… 

Un Chien Andalou

The Mummy

The Pact


Seven Blood Stained Orchids

For a Few Dollars More

Dressed to Kill




Terminator 2

The Wicker Man

Third Man, The

Man Who Knew too Much, The

The Brood

Night of the Living Dead

To Kill a Mockingbird

Dr Terrors House of Horrors

Living Dead at Manchester Morgue, The

Birds, The

Creature from the Black Lagoon, The




Easy Rider

The Acid Eaters

Evil Dead 2

Rear Window



La Haine

Taxi Driver

Passion of Joan of Arc


Rosemary's Baby

The Exorcist

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1920

Colossus The Forbin Project


Horrors of the Black Museum


Dr. Terror's House of Horrors

Dracula 1931

Dracula Prince of Darkness

Son of Dracula

All Quiet on the Western Front

Defiant Ones

Across 110th Street


Silence of the Lambs

Do the Right Thing

Mad Love

Wrong Man, The

Night of the Living Dead

Black Sunday


Cat and the Canary

Thing from Another World, The


Day of the Dead



Beast with Five Fingers

Beneath the Planet of the Apes

War of the Worlds

Horror of Dracula

28 Responses Show of hands!
Posted By doug n : July 25, 2014 8:48 pm

What a great compilation! Everything from campy to unforgetably chilling.

Posted By AL : July 25, 2014 9:18 pm

OUTSTANDING ! wowWOWwow!*****

Posted By Kevin Marr : July 25, 2014 9:31 pm

My kind of digital filmmaking.

Posted By Martha Clark : July 25, 2014 10:05 pm

First thing I thought of when I saw the subject was image of the Nazi Toht getting his hand burnt as he grabs the headpiece in Raiders Of The Lost Ark…and of course, Evil Dead II so wonderfully pictured here.

Awesome job, thanks!!!!

Posted By Qalice : July 25, 2014 10:42 pm

Very cool!

Posted By John Mather : July 26, 2014 12:24 am

How about Henry Fonda’s severed hand on the mast in Sometimes A Great Notion?

Posted By Richard Harland Smith : July 26, 2014 12:36 am

Wanted it! Couldn’t find the image online.

Posted By Saul : July 26, 2014 2:35 pm

Carnival of Souls?

Posted By Bob Gutowski : July 26, 2014 3:09 pm

My scalp is still tingling! What a wonderful procession of images, selected with intelligence and wit. Bravo!

Posted By Christine Hoard-Barre : July 26, 2014 8:39 pm

Terrific! Thank you so much.

Posted By Tim Tracy : July 26, 2014 9:12 pm

Gotta hand it to you, great post! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist…)

Posted By Bronxgirl48 : July 27, 2014 1:57 am

Love it!

Posted By Blakeney : July 27, 2014 2:08 am

What a brilliant idea for a post! I recognized some of the movies referenced but not all – and now I’m dying to see some of these movies, just based on the gripping (rim shot) pictures above! Can you list the sources, please?

Posted By Ken : July 27, 2014 4:14 am

Where is the dog carrying the severed hand in its mouth in the beginning of Yojimbo?

Posted By Doug : July 27, 2014 5:38 pm

Or the dog carrying the severed hand in its mouth in Lynch’s “Wild At Heart”?

Posted By Richard Harland Smith : July 27, 2014 7:33 pm

Ken, I had a grab of YOJIMBO ready to go but never really found a place I wanted to slot it. Sometimes you just have, as Miles Davis once said, to take the horn out your mouth.

By the way, the movies themselves are identified if you have your cursor over the frame in question and you should see the title/file name at the lower left hand corner of your screen.

Posted By mdr : July 28, 2014 12:24 am

One of your best RHS!

Posted By Stephanie : July 28, 2014 1:44 am

Great list! Is there a reason you didn’t include Dominique Sanda’s hand pressed against the car in the Conformist?

Posted By Elsewhere: Show of Hands (Movie Morlocks) | The Frame : July 28, 2014 2:26 am

[…] This is such a simple yet great post that I couldn’t resist calling attention to it. Who knew screenshots of hands could be so compelling? […]

Posted By Phil Marchesseault : July 28, 2014 12:17 pm

Hands on (ugh!), a great posting. We owe so much to German Expressionism. The early sixties German entry, CAVE OF THE LIVING DEAD (65) has a great pair of shadowy hands that are a wonderful mimic of Orlac’s.

Posted By swac44 : July 28, 2014 5:23 pm

The run from Repulsion through Redemption has some antecedents:

Posted By george : July 28, 2014 7:19 pm

I’ll always remember Karloff’s hands reaching for the sunlight in FRANKENSTEIN … and the bloody handprints near the end of BLAIR WITCH PROJECT.

Posted By Autist : August 3, 2014 3:21 am

Two thumbs up!

Posted By Lyndell : August 6, 2014 3:34 am

What about the man who held his hand over a lit candle to prove how much he wanted to see a particular woman–sorry, I just can’t think of the man or the movie, but think it was on recently. By the way, I’m not a horror/related film fan, but Robert Mitchum’s “HATE” hand reminded me of the great Charles Laughton-directed Lillian Gish film that was a masterpiece. What a great film.

Posted By Juana Maria : August 8, 2014 5:08 pm

I recognized a lot the photos too! Especially, some of my favorite films. “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “For a Few Dollars More” with Lee Van Cleef holding the musical pocket watch with his sister’s picture. “Easy Rider”, “The Birds”, “Psycho”(Ok these two are no way my favorites!) “The Beast With Five Fingers” which is definitely where The Addams Family must have found Thing. Yes, I noticed Bob Mitchum, who is super scary in that film… starting and not ending with his hands.

Posted By george : September 14, 2014 8:08 pm

“How about Henry Fonda’s severed hand on the mast in Sometimes A Great Notion?”

Wow. I’ve only seen SOMETIMES in edited-for-TV versions with that shot cut.

I wish Universal would release a DVD. The sequence with Richard Jaeckel trapped under a log is one of the most terrifying things I’ve seen in a movie. Not recommended for anyone with a fear of drowning!

Posted By swac44 : September 14, 2014 10:03 pm

George, not only is there a DVD of Sometimes a Great Notion, it’s also come out in blu-ray:

Posted By george : September 14, 2014 10:55 pm

Thanks for the info, swac44! I’ll look for it.

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