Where was The Hand That Rocks the Cradle filmed?
Seattle and Tacoma, Washington
American, Beach/Oceanview, Hospitals/Medical, Victorian
About The Hand That Rocks the Cradle
The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is a tense psychological thriller that sticks in the memory long after the credits start rolling.
It tells the story of Claire Bartel (Annabella Sciorra), who in the opening scenes of the film seems to have a perfect life. Along with her husband Michael (Matt McCoy) and adorable daughter Emma (Madeline Zima), Claire lives in a beautiful home in Seattle. And with another baby on the way, the future looks rosy for the Bartel family.
But all that changes when she visits her obstetrician, Dr. Victor Mott (John de Lancie), for a routine appointment. When Dr. Mott sexually assaults her, a frightened and traumatized Claire reports him to the state medical board. And when several other women come forward with their own claims of abuse, Dr. Mott commits suicide to avoid facing justice.
This comes as a brutal shock to Mrs. Mott (Rebecca De Mornay), the doctor’s pregnant widow, who looks set to lose her home due to her husband’s crimes. The stress forces her to go into labor early, but she has a miscarriage and doctors have no choice but to perform a hysterectomy.
It’s a devastating blow that leaves her completely distraught, but when she discovers that Claire was the woman who reported her husband, Mrs. Mott vows to get revenge. Fast-forward six months and, posing as Peyton Flanders, she applies for a job as the Bartels’ nanny. Oblivious to Peyton’s true identity, Claire hires her — and so begins Peyton’s plan to destroy Claire’s life no matter what it takes.
Peyton secretly breastfeeds Claire’s new baby so he refuses his mother’s milk. She tries to turn Emma against her mother and tricks the Bartels into thinking their intellectually disabled handyman is molesting Emma. She even arouses Claire’s suspicion that Michael is having an affair with his ex-girlfriend.
And once the Bartels finally wise up to Peyton’s evil plan, they face a desperate struggle to rescue their children from the madwoman’s clutches.
If you want to find out where The Hand That Rocks the Cradle was filmed, keep reading for a guide to some of the 1992 movie’s key locations.
The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Locations
The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is set in Seattle, and that’s exactly where you can find the home of the Motts. This The Hand That Rocks the Cradle filming location is situated in the neighborhood of Magnolia, roughly five miles northwest of the city center, and is instantly recognizable from its silver screen appearance. The home also boasts spectacular views of the Seattle skyline and Puget Sound.
The Bartel family home, where many of the best scenes in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle take place, is located a little over 30 miles south of Seattle in Tacoma. This home is also easy to recognize from the movie, and both the exterior and interior of the home were used in filming.
Other film shoot locations were used around Seattle and in the city of Issaquah, while the place where Michael Bartel works was Bio Techniques Laboratories in Redmond. However, the Bio Techniques Laboratories building is no longer standing, having been demolished in the 1990s to make way for the expansion of Microsoft’s headquarters.
We’ve put together this guide to some of the best scenes and locations from The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (including spoilers!), so keep reading to find out who you can check these sites out for yourself.
The film’s title comes from The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Is the Hand That Rules the World, an 1865 poem by William Ross Wallace.
Dr. Mott kills himself scene in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle
2502 37th Avenue West, Seattle
Claire knew that reporting Dr. Mott was the right thing to do, but she had no idea about the can of worms it would open. Soon after Claire makes her complaint, we see Dr. Mott at home listening to the nightly news while gazing out the window.
When he hears his own name, he turns to face the screen. Dr. Mott, we learn, has been brought up on charges in the district attorney’s office. “Since the patient’s initial accusation, four more women have come forward alleging that they, too, had been sexually molested,” the news anchor says. And with Dr. Mott off camera, we hear a loud gunshot as he takes his own life.
The Mott family home is located in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood. You can find this The Hand That Rocks the Cradle filming location at 2502 37th Avenue West, its unique design ensuring that it stands out from the crowd.
Claire meets Peyton scene in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle
808 North Yakima Avenue, Tacoma
After the horror of being assaulted and the doctor’s subsequent suicide, Claire is ready to put the terrible chapter behind her and move on with her life. But there’s a whole world of trouble heading her way in the form of Peyton Flanders.
Their first meeting seems completely innocent — from Claire’s point of view at least. After sending Emma on the bus to school, she comes across a woman looking for the Bartels. She introduces herself as Peyton and says she’s there for the nanny position, but Claire is a little suspicious when she realizes the other woman has turned up without an appointment.
“I shouldn’t have showed up. I’ve made you uncomfortable,” Peyton says apologetically. And although she hesitates for a second, Claire then smiles, says it’s fine, and invites Peyton into her home. As they walk towards the house, Peyton gazes up at the stunning Victorian-style home in all its glory.
This iconic The Hand That Rocks the Cradle filming location is found at 808 North Yakima Avenue, Tacoma, roughly an hour’s drive south of Seattle. Even better, the real-life address is actually mentioned in the film when Michael dials 911 and summons the police to 808 Yakima.
Greenhouse scene in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle
808 North Yakima Avenue, Tacoma
Peyton’s plan has worked perfectly so far, but it’s about to start unraveling thanks to Marlene (Julianne Moore). Suspicious about Peyton and her true intentions, Marlene does some investigative work. After a little bit of digging — including uncovering a real estate listing with a photo of the Mott family home mentioned higher up the page — Marlene learns Peyton’s true identity.
She rushes to the Bartels’ home to find Claire, but Peyton is the only one there. Peyton asks the other woman if everything is alright, but Marlene’s response is cold: “I need a doctor. Know of any, Mrs. Mott?”
A stunned Peyton says Claire is in the greenhouse out back. Marlene rushes out to find her, unaware that Peyton has boobytrapped the greenhouse to collapse. As soon as Marlene enters, the roof panels swing downwards and shatter, sending shards of glass showering down on Marlene.
This The Hand That Rocks the Cradle filming location is also located at the Bartel family home at 808 North Yakima Avenue, Tacoma, making this a must-visit spot for any film buff.
The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is one of those movies that grabs hold of you early on and doesn’t let go. From the very first moment Peyton vows revenge, it’s clear that it’s going to take something truly dramatic (and violent) to put a stop to her evil plan.
But perhaps the best part is that you can check out the house from The Hand That Rocks the Cradle for yourself. It’s easy to find and looks much the same as it did in the film, so if you’re traveling in the Pacific Northwest, be sure to drive by and take a look.