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.

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(from the novel: "Les Mains D'Orlac"), (translation and adaptation: novel "The Hands of Orlac") | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Marie (as Sarah Haden)
...
Rollo
...
Prefect Rosset
...
Dr. Wong
May Beatty ...
Françoise
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
George Davis ...
Chauffeur (scenes deleted)
...
Undetermined Role (scenes deleted)
...
Thief (scenes deleted)
...
Marianne (scenes deleted)
Leo White ...
Undetermined Role (scenes deleted)
Edit

Storyline

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 <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Dead hands that live... and love... and kill! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Romance | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 July 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Mad Doctor of Paris  »

Box Office

Budget:

$257,502 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Lorre's first American film. See more »

Goofs

The wax statue of "Yvonne" is shown with arms straight down through the film, but toward the end, when there is a shot of the real Yvonne facing the wax statue, the statue has it's left arm bent, with hand on hip. See more »

Quotes

Doctor Gogol: There's blood on your cheek, Galatea. So it seems that wax can bleed. Galatea! I am Pygmalion! You were wax but you came to life in my arms!
Yvonne Orlac: Let me go, Gogol! Please!
Doctor Gogol: You speak! You speak to me! My love has made you live! Galatea, give me your lips!
Yvonne Orlac: Let me go! Let me go!
Doctor Gogol: Why are you afraid of me? I love you! I love you! You came to life for me! Don't you know me, Galatea?
Yvonne Orlac: Yes. Yes, I am Galatea. But let me go now, please! I promise to come back!
Doctor Gogol: You are lying. You wouldn't come back. You hate ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Edited into The History of the Hands (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Phantasie Impromptu
(1834) (uncredited)
Music by Frédéric Chopin
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User Reviews

 
Neurotic vs. Psychotic
6 November 2004 | by (Pittsburgh, PA) – See all my reviews

This film is brilliant in every way. The sets are very expressionistic and therefore very cinematic. We see things according to a certain eye, and in this case the eye is demented.

And the narrative. This is the most interesting work I've seen dealing with the two poles of humanity: the neurotic vs. the psychotic, or in general terms, the scientific vs. the creative / the bound vs. the free.

Here we have the mad doctor (neurotic) vs. the virtuoso pianist (psychotic).

The figurative psychosis of the pianist is fully brought to light by the meddlings of the neurotic, who attaches to him the hands of a literal psychotic. And this drives all else.

Oh, the irony. Here we have the doctor (who is bound to his neurosis/science) enslaving the pianist (the free/creative archetype). The bound is binding the free.

Watch for the Chopin. It's a cryptic reference, but just as we cut away from the radio broadcast concert, it is announced that the pianist will play a Chopin number: Waltz No. 11 in G-flat Major, I think. Of course, Chopin is the universal symbol of the psychotic, that is the psychotic (creative) pole of humanity. This underscores what the pianist represents for us. Always watch for Chopin references.


18 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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