THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS
1946, Warner Bros., 88 min, USA, Dir: Robert Florey

Volatile (and dead) concert pianist Francis Ingram (Victor Francen) has left his Italian estate to his American nurse (Andrea King), much to the chagrin of an avaricious brother and nephew. Peter Lorre is the dead musician’s astrology-obsessed, mentally unbalanced librarian who becomes convinced that his late employer’s left hand - now missing from the corpse - is creeping about the villa, bent on murdering all those who oppose Ingram’s last testament. The rest of the household, including King’s paramour Robert Alda and police commissioner J. Carrol Naish, soon become convinced he may be right. The over-the-top Max Steiner score ably punctuates the deranged proceedings.


THE COCOANUTS
1929, Universal, 96 min, USA, Dir: Robert Florey, Joseph Santley

The Marx Brothers’ very first film finds Groucho trying to save his sinking-fast Florida hotel with the aid of Chico and Harpo, but things don’t go the way he planned (largely thanks to his two crazy helpers). Co-starring Kay Francis, Zeppo Marx and of course, Margaret Dumont.


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