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 <email@example.com>
Peter Lorre was under contract to Columbia Pictures. He agreed to be loaned out to MGM for this film if Columbia would do a film version of Crime and Punishment (1935) with him in the role of Raskolnikov. See more »
When Stephen clears away the condensation from the train window, he looks out and sees Rollo. In the following shots, the window is cloudy, then clear again. See more »
[to wax statue of Yvonne]
Galatea! And I am no Pygmalion!
[Picks up a book and reads]
"The face of all the world has changed, I think, since first I heard the footsteps of thy soul..."
[Turns back a page]
"Guess now who holds thee? Death, I said. But there the silver answer rang: Not death, but love!"
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At the end of the opening credits, the titles are painted on a glass window pane, which is broken when a fist punches through it. See more »
German actor Peter Lorre made his American film debut in "Mad Love," which I believe was an MGM release and proved to be competition for some of the popular Universal Horror films of the time. Peter Lorre had made his epic debut with 1930's "M," in which Peter amazingly played a child-killer under director Fritz Lang. Peter is a demonic performer if their ever was one, and every memorable scene in this film has Peter's lonely mad doctor character at the helm. Peter is very much in love with a stage actress who is preparing to marry a popular pianist, and all of this gets in the way of Peter's fantasy to have the woman all for himself. A train accident occurs, which leaves the pianist with little hope, but it is Peter the doctor who goes about replacing the pianist's hands with those of a dead criminal, whom Peter himself had watched the beheading of a few days before the train accident. Things take a very silly turn, when the hands somehow take over the very personality of the pianist, and Peter's mad doctor plays the innocent with the pianist, while at the time, telling his actress girlfriend that he is simply mad and that she should stay far and away from him. I would rather not mention how the story unfolds, because that would ruin the good fun for those who have yet to watch this feature, but I must admit that the ending is very funny in a sad way, and there's so much going on with Peter's sanity throughout the film. Worth seeing for a variety of different reasons, so watch it.
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