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

 |  Crime, Horror, Sci-Fi  |  4 June 1928 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,253 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.



, (novel)
0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

During a dinner, given by a wealthy baron and his wive, attended by four of her suitors in a 19th century German manor, a shadow-player rescues the marriage by giving all the guests a ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Robison
Stars: Alexander Granach, Max Gülstorff, Lilli Herder
Waxworks (1924)
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The owner of a Waxmuseum needs for three of his models stories to be told to the audience. For that reason he has hired a writer, who after one look athe owner's pretty daughter, starts ... See full summary »

Directors: Leo Birinsky, Paul Leni
Stars: Emil Jannings, Conrad Veidt, Werner Krauss
The Golem (1920)
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 16th-century Prague, a rabbi creates a giant creature from clay, called the Golem, and using sorcery, brings the creature to life in order to protect the Jews of Prague from persecution.

Directors: Carl Boese, Paul Wegener
Stars: Paul Wegener, Albert Steinrück, Ernst Deutsch
Genuine (1920)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Extremely rare work of Robert Wiene. From the director and year of excellent "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" this work was eventually overshadowed by the success of Caligari. It has a dreamy atmosphere, like another world or something.

Director: Robert Wiene
Stars: Fern Andra, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski, Ernst Gronau
Mad Love (1935)
Certificate: Passed Horror | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An insane surgeon's obsession with an actress leads him to replace her husband's hands with the hands of a knife murderer which still have the urge to throw knives.

Director: Karl Freund
Stars: Peter Lorre, Frances Drake, Colin Clive
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

When a proud noble refuses to kiss the hand of the despotic King James in 1690, he is cruelly executed and his son surgically disfigured.

Director: Paul Leni
Stars: Mary Philbin, Conrad Veidt, Julius Molnar
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Relatives of an eccentric millionaire gather in his spooky mansion on the 20th anniversary of his death for the reading of his will.

Director: Paul Leni
Stars: Laura La Plante, Creighton Hale, Forrest Stanley
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A poor student rescues a beautiful countess and soon becomes obsessed with her. A sorcerer makes a deal with the young man to give him fabulous wealth and anything he wants, if he will sign... See full summary »

Directors: Hanns Heinz Ewers, Stellan Rye
Stars: Paul Wegener, John Gottowt, Grete Berger
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Dr. Henry Jekyll experiments with scientific means of revealing the hidden, dark side of man and releases a murderer from within himself.

Director: John S. Robertson
Stars: John Barrymore, Martha Mansfield, Brandon Hurst
Faust (1926)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The demon Mephisto wagers with God that he can corrupt a mortal man's soul.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Gösta Ekman, Emil Jannings, Camilla Horn
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The abandoned home of a wealthy man who supposedly committed suicide five years earlier is taken over by ghoulish figures - could they be vampires?

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lon Chaney, Marceline Day, Henry B. Walthall
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In fifteenth century Paris, the brother of the archdeacon plots with the gypsy king to foment a peasant revolt. Meanwhile, a freakish hunchback falls in love with the gypsy queen.

Director: Wallace Worsley
Stars: Lon Chaney, Patsy Ruth Miller, Norman Kerry


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:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (restored DVD) | (2013 restored)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This version is actually closer to the 1960s version in that Orlac's hands come from a man who has been framed for murder, Vasseur. See more »


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


Remade as Body Parts (1991) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Great German Expressionist Film That is Slowly Paced
14 March 2009 | by (San Francisco, California) – See all my reviews

Flirting with a (then) science fictional theme of body part transplantation, the film explores the feelings of a concert pianist, who having lost his hands in a train wreck, receives a new pair of hands that belonged to an executed murderer. Austrian director Robert Weine, who created the landmark 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari' (1919) here reunites with and directs its star, Conrad Veidt, as the tormented pianist Paul Orlac.

The camera focuses on Veidt's many moods and reactions to his plight -- his hands are not capable of his concert abilities, and he feels that they are taking him over with thoughts and deeds of crime and murder. He does an outstanding job, but too much of the film is slowly paced. From the beginning extended train crash rescue, on through scene after scene of Orlac's, his wife's and the maid's over the top Expressionistic gesturing, the scenes seem to go on too long.

This slow pace is exaggerated by the lack of camera movement (everything is mostly wide shots with little tracking), the wonderfully and effectively spooky new musical score (on the KINO 2008 version), that sometimes lacks verve and variety, as well as the extensive time spent on the actors' Expressionist movements.

The film certainly has its high points. It's great to see an entire film shot in shadows and low light, all with Gothic sets. This is great German Expressionism. If you can relax and just go with the pace of the film, you can really enjoy the acting of Conrad Veidt-- whose hands keep getting creepier and scarier.

If it were cut to about sixty minutes to pick up the pace, it would be easier to enjoy and to see the great care that went into its creation and execution.

I'll have to give it a six.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Only 56? i3_527
The letter revenancer
New hands russa03
Discuss The Hands of Orlac (1924) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: