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The Hands of Orlac (1924)
"Orlacs Hände" (original title)

 |  Crime, Horror, Sci-Fi  |  4 June 1928 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,226 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 21 critic

A world-famous pianist loses both hands in an accident. When new hands are grafted on, he doesn't know they once belonged to a murderer.



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Credited cast:
Alexandra Sorina ...
Fritz Kortner ...
Carmen Cartellieri ...
Fritz Strassny ...
Vater Orlac
Paul Askonas ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hans Homma ...
Dr. Serral


Orlac, affermato pianista, perde le mani in un grave incidente. I medici decidono allora di trapiantargli le mani di un assassino condannato a morte. L'operazione riesce perfettamente, ma, da quel momento, una serie di strani omicidi, generalmente commessi a mezzo dello strangolamento delle vittime, vengono commessi e la polizia, che inizialmente brancola nel buio, comincia a sospettare del pianista. Alla fine si scopre che il colpevole era, invece, da tutt'altra parte. Written by rosebud6

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi





Release Date:

4 June 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Hands of Orlac  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (restored DVD) | (2013 restored)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film was incomplete for decades, due to footage that never made it into the American prints and footage that had been cut due to censorship in German prints. The film was restored to its original length in 1995 by F. W. Murnau Stiftung. See more »


When Orlac reads a newspaper, the headlines are in German but the body in French. See more »


Version of The Hands of Orlac (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

A Gothic and Dark German Expressionist Film
22 November 2011 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

The pianist Paul Orlac (Conrad Veidt) is on tour and his wife Yvonne Orlac (Alexandra Sorina) anxiously waits for his return. While traveling back home, there is a train wreck at Montgeron and Orlac is very injured in both hands in the accident.

Yvonne begs to Dr. Serral (Hans Homma) to save his hands that are his life. Meanwhile, the robber and murderer Vasseur that claims that is innocent is sentenced to death since the police investigator had found his fingerprints everywhere near the victim. Dr. Serral transplants Vasseur's hands in Orlac and when he recovers, he feels that there is something wrong with his hands.

Orlac asks the surgeon about the hands and learns that he belonged to a criminal, and Orlac decides to never touch Yvonne again with those hands. His family becomes poor since he is not working anymore and Yvonne pays a visit to her father-in-law (Fritz Strassny) to ask for help. However, Orlac's father is a cruel man and does not help her. When Orlac returns home, Yvonne asks him to visit his father and when he arrives at his house, he finds his father dead. They call the police and they find Vasseur's fingerprint everywhere. Orlac is the only heir of his father fortune but sooner he is followed by a stranger named Nera (Fritz Kortner) that blackmails him and demands a small fortune. Orlac is not sure that he had killed his father and goes with Yvonne to the police. Sooner they discover a secret about Vasseur.

"Orlacs Hände" is a Gothic and dark German Expressionist film with an unbelievable plot (but who matters?) but wonderful theatrical performances like in most silent classics and perfect use of shadows in a gloomy atmosphere. The music score fits perfectly to the film and this is the first time that I watch this little masterpiece. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "As Mãos de Orlac" ("The Hands of Orlac")

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