In France, an insane surgeon's obsession with an actress from England leads him to replace her pianist husband's hands that got mangled in an accident with the hands of a late knife murderer which still have the urge to throw knives.
Nell Bowen, the spirited protege of rich Lord Mortimer, becomes interested in the conditions of notorious St. Mary's of Bethlehem Asylum (Bedlam). Encouraged by the Quaker Hannay, she tries... See full summary »
In Paris, the great surgeon Dr. Gogol falls madly in love with stage actress Yvonne Orlac, and his ardor disturbs her quite a bit when he discovers to his horror that she is married to concert pianist Stephen Orlac. Shortly thereafter, Stephen's hands are badly crushed in a train accident- beyond the power of standard medicine. Knowing that his hands are his life, Yvonne overcomes her fear and goes to Dr. Gogol, to beg him to help. Gogol decides to surgically graft the hands of executed murderer Rollo onto Stephen Orlac, the surgery is successful but has terrible side-effects...Written by
Ken Yousten <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A torn poster of this movie, with its Spanish translation "Las manos de Orlac", appears in Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano, as a symbol for the intricate novel's plot that subsumes as dissension between mind and body of its anti-hero protagonist. See more »
When Gogol disguises himself as Rollo, he does not have an accent when he speaks (whispers). If he did, the audience (and Madame Orlac) would know immediately who he really was. See more »
This adaptation of Renard's The Hands of Orlac is quite good, yet a bit on the stagy side. It is one of Peter Lorre's early films and his first for Hollywood. Lorre is quite good, and almost sympathetic in a way, as a surgeon who has hopelessly fallen in love with the wife of a great pianist. Colin Clive of Frankenstein fame plays the musician, and Frances Drake plays his rather annoying, overacting wife. The visuals of the film are first-rate, as it was directed by great cameraman Karl Freund. Ted Healy adds some unnecessary comic relief. What I liked best about the film was the staging of the story against some beautiful expressionistic sets and Freunds expressive camerawork.
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