Hands of a Stranger (1960)

35mm film, black and white
mono, English

An American horror film directed by Newton Arnold. Although made in 1960, it wasn't released until 1962.

Plot Summary

A concert pianist's hands are ruined in an accident. He's given a new pair by a surgeon but finds himself possessed by the spirit of their previous owner, a convicted murderer.


Directed by: Newton Arnold
© 1960, Glenwood-Névé
Allied Artists Pictures Corporation presents a Glenwood-Neve production
Produced by: Newton Arnold and Michael du Pont
Production Manager: Vernin Keays
Written by: Newton Arnold
Script Supervisor: Diana Loomis
Director of Photography: Henry Cronjager
Camera Operator: James Stone
Gaffer: George Margquenie
Key Grip: Tommy Thompson
Film Editor: Bert Honey
Assistant Film Editor: Jack C. May
Music Composed and Conducted by: Richard LaSalle
Music Editor: Lee Osborne
Sound Mixer: Vic Appel
Sound Effects Editors: Jack Cornell and George Eppich
Sound by: Glen Glenn Sound Co.
Mens' Wardrobe: Buddy Clark
Womens' Wardrobe: Ruth Hancock
Makeup: Charles Gemora
Hair Stylist: Lorraine Roberson
Special Photographic Effects: Howard A. Anderson Co.
Art Director: Ted Holsopple
Set Decorator: John Sturtevant
Property Master: Richard Brandow
Technical Advisor: Robert Gans
Executive Secretary: Sally Hamilton
Assistant to the Producers: Gerald LeGrand

Paul Lukather (Dr Gil Harding)
Joan Harvey (Dina Paris)
James Stapleton as Vernon Paris
Ted Otis (Dr Russ Compton)
Michael Rye (George Britton)
Larry Haddon (Police Lieutenant Syms)
Elaine Martone (Eileen Hunter)
George Sawaya (cab driver)
Michael du Pont (Dr. Ken Fry)
Sally Kellerman (Sue)
David Kramer (carnival barker)
Irish McCalla as Holly
Barry Gordon as Skeet

Alternative Titles

The Answer!


Variety 26 September 1962 p.6
Hands of a Stranger stirs up enough mild suspense to rate as an okay entry for the program market. Its theme is sufficiently novel to attract less discriminating audiences, but much of the unfoldment is sloppy, which militates against what might have been a fairly strong melodrama. A 10 to 15-minute trim would speed up action. […] Paul Lukather handles himself well as the surgeon and James Stapleton portrays the pianist whose mind becomes twisted by his tragic circumstances, frequently over-directed. Joan Harvey plays his sister whom he nearly murders, and Larry Haddon enacts a police lieutenant interested in the case and whose bullet saves Lukather from being strangled by the maddened musician. Other roles are acceptably undertaken. Producers give film suitable production values and technical credits are okay, particularly camera work of Henry Cronjager. – from a review by Whit



  • Castle of Frankenstein no.2 p.47
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.3 p.4 pp.26, 27
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.4 p.6
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.6 p.56
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.10 p.40
  • The Daily Cinema no.8633 (9 July 1962) p.6 – review
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.172 no.4 (18 September 1962) p.3 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Kine Weekly no.2858 (12 July 1962) pp.2-3 – review
  • Literature/Film Quarterly vol.34 no.4 (2006) pp.294-302 – article (The problem body politic or “These hands have a mind all their own!” by Ian Olney)
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.29 no.343 (August 1962) p.113 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Variety 26 September 1962 p.6 – review


  • The Allied Artists Checklist by Len D. Martin p.58 – credits, synopsis, note
  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.148
  • Classic Horror Films and the Literature That Inspired Them by Ron Backer p.175 (note)
  • Feature Films, 1960-1969: A Filmography of English-language and Major Foreign-language United States Releases by Harris M. Lentz III p.186
  • by Walt Lee p.182 – credits
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester p.320-321
  • Sixties Shockers by Mark Clark and Bryan Senn pp.200-201