I've Heard of Digital TV, But This is Ridiculous- and Frightening! "Beast with Five Fingers"-Tonight!

Posted on March 26, 2022

Tonight on MeTV- we bring back a movie whose star is a real handful-in what was the Warner Bros. Studios only dip into the horror genre in the 1940s! The always creepy and sinister Peter Lorre faces situations you can count on one hand- mystery, the supernatural, murder, betrayal, and- the “Beast with Five Fingers”!

This 1946 chiller brings us to the Italian manor where the brilliant and eccentric pianist Francis Ingram dwells in isolation. Though he has suffered a stroke that has paralyzed half his body, he can still play the piano masterfully, with special musical arrangements designed to be played by only one hand. Young Bruce Conrad, who also makes money through the dubious selling of phony antiques to tourists, arranges these pieces, and is one of the few visitors Ingram allows.

The pianist, confined to a wheelchair, is cared for by his lovely nurse Julie, whom he has become emotionally attached to, and somewhat obsessed with- though, unbeknownst to him, Julie is in love with his arranger, Conrad. The other occupant of the manor is Ingram’s personal secretary Hilary, whose own obsession is astrology- which he feeds by using Ingram’s vast personal library to research what he feels he is on the track of discovering-ancient lost secrets of incredible power. When Hilary finds out that Ingram has changed his will, leaving everything to Julie, he worries that this will remove him from the library and his research. In an attempt to avoid such a situation, he reveals the truth about who Julie actually cares for to his boss, driving Ingram into a rage, and he grabs Hilary by the throat to strangle him- only to be stopped in the nick of time when Julie enters the room!

Soon, on a suitably dark and stormy night- Ingram meets his demise under strange circumstances. Regardless, the local police commissario dismisses it as-an accident. Ingram’s passing draws a visit from a relative who, along with his son, questions the legality of the new will that cuts them out of any inheritance. Secretly, Ingram’s sneaky attorney reveals to them that he can overturn the new will- in exchange for part of the inheritance, of course!

The lawyer ends up getting something quite different and far more unpleasant than an inheritance- and the search is on to find Ingram’s original will, which must be hidden somewhere in the house. That night, things get more unnerving, when the household hears the dead Ingram’s piano playing! Hilary is shocked to see a disembodied hand – and we learn where it seems to have come from- while the search goes on for the original will, as Hilary tries to convince everyone that he has indeed encountered this five-fingered horror! Will the deadly digits be discovered-or will they go on a strangling spree?

As always, we ask our comment posters to avoid any spoilers that might ruin the enjoyment of the film for those who have not seen it before. Peter Lorre, in his final film role for this studio, performs brilliantly as Hilary- joined by supporting cast members like Robert Alda (yes, Alan’s dad) and the versatile J. Carrol Naish. We’ll talk about them and other actors appearing in the film, put the finer on what may be the hand’s other show biz work, and bring you a song. Due to the length of the movie, we will again minimize the Sven content in order to bring you more of the film. As we have stated, our show remains at two hours in length.

“Beast with Five Fingers” will grab you tonight at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central. Not sure where to find it in your area? Just check your local listings or at www.metv.com . Live-tweeting during the show on Twitter has continued to have our program trending among the most posted about topics in the nation, and MeTV invites you to join in, using the hashtag #svengoolie. Tonight, watch right after our show, when Toonie the Tuna from “Tune in With Me” emulates yours truly as the hookable horror host “Sventoonie”! You might just see me  appearing with him as well! Saturday morning means an encore of the restored print of “The Ghoul” on our main local station, CW26, at 11. We are very happy that it was a huge success in its airing last week on MeTV.

I have been getting a look at a new merchandise item coming to our store soon- and think you will like it as much as I do! Watch for it very soon!

Tonight- let your fingers do the walking on your TV remote for what is, hands down, one of the eeriest movies in Peter Lorre’s resume! It gets two thumbs up…oh-sorry- make that- one!

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 during show

gabste 10 months ago
Stopped by ! Very busy morning !
MaeBenito gabste 8 months ago
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1MikeM 10 months ago
...and dat was da Beast wit Five Fingahs...and dat's da name a dat tune!
Thereman 10 months ago
It's true that I do have something of a "love-hate" relationship with BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS. Most of it comes from this:
At age 15, I was bound and determined to "master" this mountain of music by Bach, the last movement of his 2nd Partita for solo violin, the Chaconne. If it looks tough, I promise: it's somewhere beyond brutal on steroids. I swore no one alive had spent as many hours as had I working and reworking those eight glorious pages of music. Little did I realize it would be a lifelong journey where you can revisit the music, play it and say, "Goodness...I have an awful long way to go." (or something like that!) Small wonder I now refer to that time as the "delusional" period.
BWFF features the Chaconne, transcribed for piano, although we only get a small portion of the incredible journey that is that work. So it gets me both ways: I love it, I want more- AND- I hate it and haven't played it in years because I just can't do it the justice it calls for. No worries as most of the string players I know, professional and amateur, have the same story. I always love it when the line "and then I heard Heifetz play it and..." comes around.
Still, BEAST is a good movie, and I offer one thought as we close this week: Not many historians of Film Noir include any horror movies as "true noir." Yet, the same insanity that drives Peter Lorre's character can be found as an antagonist in several prominent noir films. I can understand that many don't like the comic relief ending- not gritty enough for noir, but this is from WB, a studio that gave us lots of noir classics. The visuals are certainly dark and shadowy enough.
Finally, not to take anything from Robert Florey, but I always wonder what the difference would have been if Val Lewton (CAT PEOPLE) had been at the helm.
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Katink FKrueger 10 months ago
I love a good knock-knock joke, FKrueger!
daleuhlmann Thereman 10 months ago
I agree, Thereman, about the film noir influences on TBWFF. I, too, wonder, how better a film it would have been if Val Lewton had directed it.
1MikeM FKrueger 10 months ago
MrsG Thereman 10 months ago
Bravo ~ thank You Thereman for such musical enlightenment and a huge chunk of Your hx!
Kyle 10 months ago
Just a shot across the bow...

I'm going to stay up to hit the new blog!


Katink Kyle 10 months ago
Me too, Kyle! Maybe.
gabste 10 months ago
Don't think I'll make it to 12 midnight. So you guys have fun! Love you all.
CrazyK gabste 10 months ago
You have a good night too. Did you get your “nails” done today ✋🤚😁
MrsG CrazyK 10 months ago
💅 Good one CrazyK 💅
CrazyK MrsG 10 months ago
Haha, Oh, I didn’t even know there was the emojis you used, cool 😎not that I would probably ever have a use for them again 😂
gabste CrazyK 10 months ago
gabste CrazyK 10 months ago
gabste CrazyK 10 months ago
Lol ! 🤣
Catbat 10 months ago
Good Svengoolie Saturday Eve All!
gabste Catbat 10 months ago
yo !
Thereman Catbat 10 months ago
Happy Eve of Sventurday! Glad you're back- Ohio hasn't been quite the same w/ out you!
abc123 10 months ago
Here is the only photo I took this past week I can legally post:
Oregon in the foreground, and Washington in the background.
Catbat abc123 10 months ago
gabste abc123 10 months ago
Neat !
Jack abc123 10 months ago
Petite! (The photo is much smaller than the Columbia River?)
MrsG abc123 10 months ago
Beautiful ! Sounds like You had a wonderful time , and still worked on the FAN we ALL Love ~
10-Q abc123 , and good luck on the midnight run ‘
Drang 10 months ago
Well, crap.
Weekend in a verbo out on the Kitsap Peninsula.
No local TV.
No Svengoolie!😖😱😢😢😢
gabste Drang 10 months ago
Yuck ! Sorry
PatS Drang 10 months ago
Kitsap has some pretty places, tho...
DrFish28136 10 months ago
Debbie Reynolds 90th birthday today

Bill_K 10 months ago
1MikeM gabste 10 months ago
Hellooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo gabste!
gabste 1MikeM 10 months ago
Helllllloooooioooooooooooooolloooolloooooooooooooooohellooooooooooooo MikeeeeeeeeekekkekeeeeekekkekekekkekekekkekkekkeeeeekkkkeeeeeeeeM loveeeeeeeee yooooouuuuuu😊❤❤
1MikeM gabste 10 months ago
Hey gabsteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee loveeeee you too!
daleuhlmann 10 months ago
Hey, group, I am happy to announce that Catbat and I have dumped cable! We are currently watching Me TV and Svengoolie on rabbit ears, and with crystal clear reception. We thought it was a waste to keep paying Massillon Cable $135.00 every month when there was only a handful of channels we really were regularly watching anyway. So far, no regrets!
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Thereman daleuhlmann 10 months ago
After a less than lovely tiff with our former cable provider, people thought I was crazy to cut the cord. Well, it's been 8 years, and I can honestly say I don't miss that monthly bill. It sounds like you and Catbat have much of the same experience as Mrs. T and I: We would only watcha limited number of shows/ channels- not surprising for busy adults. There were literally dozens of channels that I never have, had, or will watch. My question still remains: Why can't they give 5 or 6 channels I want, at a more reasonable price. Several reps have tried to tell me that such a package "is not technologically possible at this time." I'm happy to declare that statement as the pure nonsense that it is.
I bought my first subscriptionless DVR in 2006. It still is running fine today, and if it goes down, all we've lost is a tuner hooked up to a video grade hard drive- not much to have to replace. True, if you want more features, there are some good package on the market, but they do cost more.
They're still getting us for internet, and I don't expect that will change. At least we haven't gotten to that point (suggested by various sci-fi writers) of Oxygen and Virtual Reality taxes!
CrazyK Thereman 10 months ago
What brand DVR? I would be interested to buy a DVR rather then lease the service from the cable co.
Thereman CrazyK 10 months ago
Old Faithful is a Magnavox, but they're no longer made (yeah, wouldn't THAT figure). Do a search on DVR without subscription. There are a few good options, but watch out if they have a "service" fee. There are also good posts on putting one together; like I say, it's basically a modified hard drive. Keep me posted!
CrazyK Thereman 10 months ago
Thanks a lot, will do!
CrazyK 10 months ago
I wonder if this is where Sventoonie got his wig from 🤔
Thereman 10 months ago
Since it is National Flying Bus Day, another "flying" bus:

Timberline Lodge, a gorgeous arts & crafts inspired hotel/ ski resort, was built in 1937 at 6,000 ft. elevation on the west side of Mt. Hood, OR. Not far from Portland, it was and is a very popular destination year around. In the early days, the lodge suffered from poor road structure from Portland.

One "answer" to that dilemma came in January, 1951:
Using reconfigured Greyhound busses that self powered the tramway, the Skiway Flying Bus system took passengers from Government Camp, OR, to Timberline Lodge at a much faster speed than the (then) 50 mile road trip could be driven- especially in winter. A one way ticket was $1.50.

It was, however, no panacea. The busses were so noisy that passengers complained they could not carry on normal conversations. With federal money for road improvements, a new highway was constructed within a couple of years, meaning you could now drive the same trip in half the time it took to take the tram.

Skiways went out of business in 1956. The cable towers were removed and reused by several electric suppliers. The terminal where the tram "landed" at Timberline was converted into a hotel and restaurant, which is still in business today.

But it was probably a safer ride than the one NPC posted earlier...
MrsG Thereman 10 months ago
And then there was Pittsburgh 1-31-22 ~
NoPersonalChicks Thereman 10 months ago
Probably, since mine only flies one day a year. Also, a little-known fact - the pilot of the aforementioned, ill-fated Stratoliner was actually this guy. An actual bus driver whose fear of flying didn't enhance his airborne maneuvering capability. OK, that's all the lame 4/1 stuff I've got. All I can clean up enough anyway.
Thereman NoPersonalChicks 10 months ago
AS always, it's ALL good! Your post was GREAT, just curious that it got me thinking about this chunk of history.
Thereman MrsG 10 months ago
I don't believe that I can give a like to that truly sad event. Thank goodness it happened at a time of light traffic- could have been SOOOO much worse! Glad you're safe, my dear! Keep it that way, por favor!
Klaatu Thereman 10 months ago
I watched a documentary on that SkiBus on a streaming service. Very interesting. Weird, but interesting. It may have succeeded if it originally used traditional cable cars.
CrazyK Thereman 10 months ago
Interesting article, never heard of it before.
Carl_N_Brown 10 months ago
Romorrow night Sventoonie is going to show "House on Haunted Hill" in a half-hour?
I guess I have to sit up after Svengoolie to see how that can be done.
1MikeM Carl_N_Brown 10 months ago
It's film clips with commentary by host Sventoonie. Everything you ever wanted to know about House on Haunted Hill in half an hour
Carl_N_Brown 1MikeM 10 months ago
Like the Cliff Notes version of "War and Peace"?
1MikeM Carl_N_Brown 10 months ago
Yep! There will be a quiz after the episode.
CrazyK 10 months ago
PatS, I just finished reading Sven’s Newsletter and it was great! I see that he will be showing the 80’s remake of
“Invaders from Mars” so I am putting in a request for you to parody Paul McCartney & Wings
“Venus & Mars/Rockshow for IFM on April 30th. I think you’re probably going to tell me to try and do it myself but that’s not gonna happen, Lol.
Thanks for any consideration.
PatS CrazyK 10 months ago
(Hope ya see this -- I'll add comments later) Hadn't heard this song before. Just looked up lyrics and Youtube. It'd be a worthy challenge! A little uncertain about using a tune I don't know well with a movie I've never seen. Well, got a month to contemplate it. Thanks for the suggestion!
CrazyK PatS 10 months ago
Thanks for checking it out. Yeah lots of lyrics but pretty appropriate song I think.
I’ll wait and see 🤞
MrsG 10 months ago
WOW just noticed that Bette Davis is on WAGON TRAIN (1959) ~ unmistakable voice !
CrazyK MrsG 10 months ago
I’m watching that episode of WAGON TRAIN right now (3 hours later 😂) thanks for the heads-up MrsG.
MrsG 10 months ago
Just Loved and had to keep this photo to share with those who might miss out on the Newsletter ~ Sven describes details of His original costume ~ wig from K-Mart , and outdated tux coat from neighborhood rental shop for $10.00 !
1MikeM MrsG 10 months ago
Tygercat MrsG 10 months ago
Also loved the description of the wig buying trip- I can just imagine the reaction! Amazing, isn't it, how you can pull together a look or project just with stuff you happen to have around the house. As for the original coat no longer fitting- I think we can all relate to that- thinking of my wedding dress here and a couple of other favorite outfits packed away...
TheKodakKid Tygercat 10 months ago
His story about his wig buying trip sounded somewhat similar to Scottie O’s story about going out and buying fishnets ahead of last year’s The Big Blogcast. Yeah, like that was the first time he’s ever bought fishnets. Right.
CrazyK TheKodakKid 10 months ago
Did he buy a werewolf mask too? 😂
4marple6 10 months ago
I see that Sven is going to televise the remake of Invaders from Mars and it trying to get the original 50's version. PLEASE keep trying to get the original! I enjoyed it so much as a teenager SO many years ago. Another request would be "I Married a Monster from Outer Space, "Not of This Earth," and "Attack of the Crab Monsters."
1MikeM 4marple6 10 months ago
Welcome to the blog 4marple6!
1MikeM 4marple6 10 months ago
Those are some cool movie requests! I'd like to request The Giant Spider Invasion a low budget sci-fi horror movie filmed in Wisconsin with Alan Hale and Equinox (1970) with Frank Bonner (WKRP) and The Night Stalker (1971) tv-movie. Oh and one more Spooks Run Wild with The East Side Kids and Bela Lugosi.
Bill_K 4marple6 10 months ago
Nice Choices....Welcome to the Board!
daleuhlmann 10 months ago
Our blog's classic radio expert, the Kodak Kid, had earlier discussed the radio work of Peter Lorre. On that same BIOGRAPHY special about Lorre that I had mentioned earlier, a film historian also acknowledged the actor's popular radio appearances. One of his more memorable ones was a presentation of Poe's "The Black Cat." During the live broadcast, Lorre delivered his lines regarding his character's hatred of the titular feline so passionately that his dentures flew out of his mouth. Trouper that he was, Lorre deftly retrieved them in mid-air, reinserted them, and continued without missing a single beat!
MrsG daleuhlmann 10 months ago
WOW now there is a sight to behold ! Thanks Dale , and reminds me that Sven mentioned a 50th Anniversary event in Chicago April 10th to celebrate the golden age of radio’s show THOSE WERE THE DAYS ~ KodakKid would Love that !
Apologies to Edgar Allen...and Freddie
MrsG NoPersonalChicks 10 months ago
Oh my such unparalleled wit and humor to behold on the SvenBlog ~ You couldn’t pay good money for this kind of Sventertainment anywhere !
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