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The Hands of Orlac (1924)

Orlacs Hände (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Horror, Mystery | 4 June 1928 (USA)
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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Cast overview:
Paul Orlac (as Veidt)
Alexandra Sorina ...
Yvonne Orlac (as Sorina)
Fritz Strassny ...
Der alle Orlac (as Strassny)
Paul Askonas ...
Der Diener (as Askonas)
Carmen Cartellieri ...
Regine (as Cartellieri)
Hans Homma ...
Dr. Serral (as Homma)
Fritz Kortner ...
Nera (as Kortner)


Orlac is a world famous pianist. One day he is badly hurt in a big train wreck. He is in danger of losing both his hands so his wife begs the doctors to save them. They eventually manage to transplant his hands with those of another deceased person. After his recovery Orlac discovers that there is something seriously wrong with his new pair of hands -- it is as if they had a will of their own. But Orlac doesn't know that they actually belonged to a dangerous murderer. Written by Aljaz Ciber, Slovenia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated




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
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Did You Know?


The film was released in the United States over three years after its original release in Austria and Germany. An entire reel was edited out of the USA import version of the film, prompting a mixed critical reception in the country. See more »


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

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, all cast members are billed by their last names only. See more »

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User Reviews

Hands of Orlac, restored
24 August 2011 | by See all my reviews

This is not a great movie, I admit. Certainly the acting is bizarre (though often moving) and the rhythm takes getting used to. But I thought I would put in a good word based on a recent viewing experience. I am not rating it high but I really enjoyed it a lot.

6 or 7 years ago I went on a Conrad Veidt spree and bought copies of some his silents from an ebay seller/devotee. The quality varied and I recall that he particularly apologized for this item, which was barely viewable. All you could really see was Veidt's face... The other night TCM showed the Kino restoration and I sat down to see the film "for real." It was a pleasure to be able to take in the wonderful decors and costumes, and to get a relatively coherent version of the plot. The train wreck scene is stirring. And Veidt's face, again, as he progresses from sensitive soul to tormented monstrosity... In short, it was very rewarding.

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