Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - October, 2012


"The Hand That Rocks the Cradle" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Clements



A Seattle couple is expecting their second child when the mother, Claire Bartel (Annabella Sciorra), visits her new gynecologist for the first time.  This creepy new doctor eschews protocol and examines Claire without a female nurse as a witness.  Claire files a report to authorities claiming the doctor molested herin the examination.  That's when four other women come forward with similar stories.  The doctor winds up committing suicide before having to face the charges.  Then we learn that his widow, played by Rebecca De Mornay is expecting a child of her own.  Then soon after she learns that her husband's assets have been frozen, she winds up having a miscarriage and they are forced to perform an emergancy hysterectomy while at the hospital.  De Mornay creates an alternate persona and secures a job as nanny to the Bartel's two children.


  • Disney
  • 1992, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 50 mins
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Starring:  Annabella Sciorra, Rebecca De Mornay, Matt McCoy, Julianne Moore and Ernie Hudson
  • Directed by Curtis Hanson
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Yes
  • Language: Mild


This is a 20th Anniversary Blu-ray release.  I remember seeing this film in theaters and felt disappointed at the time. Now when reflecting back, I think I simply had an off reaction because of the disturbing plot and subject matter.  I could actually beleive something like this could happen; the story is very plausible.  At the same time, Seattle is a wonderful setting for a horrific thriller like this.  The Blu-ray release has a super nice picture for a Disney catalog title.  This movie is a well crafted story and it is tightly edited.  In the end, this is a quality production that resulted in a movie that is quite compelling and it really captured my imagiation this time around.  Highly recommended. 


As mentioned above, this disc has a nice picture.  Film grain is intact.  There is minimal edge enhancement and the colors are true to the source.  Detail in the image is abundant.  But there are elevated black levels in some scenes.  The audio is mostly dialog and environmental sounds for the majority of the movie.  But there is a very nice score composed by Graeme Revell that gives glimpses of a good source that's been properly transferred to disc.  The Foley effects came through without the hyped and ripe bass that is common on newer movies while consonants in the dialog were also quite natural.


Just the theatrical trailer in NTSC.