MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 394 this week

Mad Love (1935)

Passed  -  Horror | Romance | Sci-Fi  -  12 July 1935 (USA)
7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,719 users  
Reviews: 73 user | 28 critic

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:

Writers:

(from the novel: "Les Mains D'Orlac"), (translation and adaptation: novel "The Hands of Orlac"), 7 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: March

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in March.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 22 titles
created 08 Oct 2010
 
a list of 34 titles
created 29 May 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 18 Mar 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 5 months ago
 
a list of 39 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Mad Love" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Mad Love (1935)

Mad Love (1935) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Mad Love.

User Polls

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When a nobleman is murdered, a professor of the occult blames vampires; but not all is what it seems.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan, Bela Lugosi
Doctor X (1932)
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A wisecracking New York reporter intrudes on a research scientist's quest to unmask The Moon Killer.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Lee Tracy
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In a turn-of-the-century Renaissane Itakian mansion, its tyrannical owner, a one-handed, wheelchair-bound pianist with a strong belief in the occult is murdered.

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: Robert Alda, Andrea King, Peter Lorre
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Englishmen race to find the tomb of Ghengis Khan. They have to get there fast, as the evil genius Dr. Fu Manchu is also searching, and if he gets the mysteriously powerful relics, he and ... See full summary »

Directors: Charles Brabin, Charles Vidor
Stars: Boris Karloff, Lewis Stone, Karen Morley
Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A mad scientist seeks to mingle human blood with that of an ape, and resorts to kidnapping women for his experiments.

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Sidney Fox, Leon Ames
The Raven (1935)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A brilliant surgeon obsessed with Poe saves the life of a beautiful dancer and goes mad when he can't have her.

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lester Matthews
Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Ignoring an ancient prophecy, evil brother Gregor seeks to maintain his feudal power on his his Tyrolean estate by murdering and impersonating his benevolent younger twin.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Boris Karloff, Marian Marsh, Robert Allen
Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A hotshot reporter and a young doctor team up to investigate a series of grisly murders and a mysterious sample of synthetic blood.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Rosemary Lane, Wayne Morris
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A scientist becomes murderous after discovering, and being exposed to the radiation of, a powerful new element called Radium X.

Director: Lambert Hillyer
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Frances Drake
The Black Cat (1934)
Horror | Crime | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

American honeymooners in Hungary are trapped in the home of a Satan- worshiping priest when the bride is taken there for medical help following a road accident.

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, David Manners
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The disappearance of people and corpses leads a reporter to a wax museum and a sinister sculptor.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Glenda Farrell
Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A pianist has a transplant operation that gives him a new pair of hands. Unfortunately, the hands belonged to a murderer, and he finds the hands starting to take over his life and commit ... See full summary »

Director: Edmond T. Gréville
Stars: Mel Ferrer, Dany Carrel, Christopher Lee
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Frances Drake ...
...
Ted Healy ...
Sara Haden ...
Marie (as Sarah Haden)
Edward Brophy ...
Rollo
Henry Kolker ...
Prefect Rosset
...
Dr. Wong
May Beatty ...
Françoise
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
George Davis ...
Chauffeur (scenes deleted)
...
Undetermined Role (scenes deleted)
Harold Huber ...
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:

A new, a strange, a gifted personality comes to the screen! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Romance | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The following lines, quoted by Peter Lorre about halfway through the film, are taken from the first of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnets from the Portuguese: Guess now who holds thee? Death, I said, But, there, The silver answer rang, Not Death, but Love. 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

Reagan, the American Reporter: It's the old story. The old family doctor stuck on a girl and tries to plant a murder on her husband to get rid of him. He's been doing something mighty queer with Rollo's body.
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

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

Soundtracks

Etude Opus 10, no.4
(1830) (uncredited)
Music by Frédéric Chopin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Freund's directorial masterpiece
23 February 2007 | by (Mexico) – See all my reviews

The legendary Karl Freund is definitely better known for his highly innovative work as director of photography, resulting in an extensive career (spanning across 5 decades) of beautiful and pioneering cinematography. With a body of work as impressive as his (ranging from Lang's "Metropolis" to TV's classic "I Love Lucy"), it is understandable that Freund's work as a director gets so easily forgotten. The fact that he only directed 10 films in his career also plays an important factor in this, however, at least 2 of his directorial efforts easily rank among the best horror movies ever made. The first one of the two (incidentally, his first work as a director in America), 1932's "The Mummy" is really the most popular, given that it is also one of the best performances by horror icon Boris Karloff; however, it is in the second one where Freund's talents really shine, making this last movie as a director his final masterpiece.

Loosely based on Maurice Renard's novel, "Les Mains d'Orlac" (literally, "The Hands of Orlac"), "Mad Love" is the story of Dr. Gogol (Peter Lorre), a brilliant surgeon deeply in love with a beautiful theater actress named Yvonne Orlac (Frances Drake). When season ends, Yvonne announces her retirement, and this prompts Gogol to finally meeting her. Unfortunately for Gogol, Yvonne tells him that she is actually married to concert pianist Stephen Orlac (Colin Clive). Saddened, Gogol leaves, but a bizarre turn of events will make him meet Yvonne one more time: Stephen has lost his hands in a terrible train accident and only Gogol's expertise will be able to save him. While he saves Stephen's hands, the operation begins to have serious side-effects, not only in Orlac, but also in Gogol.

While the screenplay was written by P.J. Wolfson, John L. Balderston and the usual assortment of contributing writers, the movie is mostly the work of Guy Endore and Florence Crewe-Jones, who made the adaptation from the French novel. Endore was a regular writer for MGM at the time, and helped to write other MGM's horrors like "Mark of the Vampire", "The Raven" and "The Devil-Doll"; it is his style, mix of Gothic and pulp novel what flows through the movie, although he remains true to the essence of Renard's classic horror novel. Renard is often credited as being the "inventor" of the Mad Scientist archetype, and truly gives a great use to it in his novel; appropriately, "Mad Love" keeps this psychological drama between characters and brings it to life, spending considerable time detailing the characters and their relationships, building up the necessary tension for the grandiose finale.

After directing several melodramas and comedies in a row, "Mad Love" allowed Freund to once again return to his expressionist roots and create a haunting tale of horror and madness in almost the same vein as his earlier classic, "The Mummy". Unlike what would be expected of a cinematographer, Freund dedicates as much attention to the non-visual aspects of the film as he does for the visual imagery, playing with the many different elements that form the bizarre love triangle of the film. The story itself focuses a lot in psychological themes, ranging from neurosis and hysteria, to compulsive obsession and dangerous psychosis; Freund makes great use of this themes across the movie, although it is obvious that he prefers the character of Dr. Gogol to the other protagonists of the film. Like Im-Ho-Tep the mummy, Dr. Gogol is driven by the mad love he feels for a woman, but unlike with the mummy, Freund makes sure to never fully transform Gogol into a monster, making him very human and frighteningly realist.

Peter Lorre's acting is essential for this last element in Gogol's persona, and he delivers one of this most amazing performances in his career. While lesser known than his characters in "M" or in "The Maltese Falcon", Dr. Gogol is certainly an iconic Lorre character that truly showcases Lorre's versatile talent. Frances Drake is surprisingly great, showing great emotion and excellent domain of the scene, giving her best to avoid being overshadowed by Lorre in their scenes together. Colin Clive, who would become famous as Dr. Victor Frankenstein in James Whale's films, delivers a truly effective performance as Orlac, but I found that Freund seems definitely much more interested in Dr. Gogol and his antics than in the pianist's neurosis, leaving few space to Orlac's growing insanity. Still, Clive does a very good performance despite the limited screen time his character receives when compared to Gogol.

It is probably this last point what truly stops this movie from being a classic of horror, as with a runtime of barely 68 minutes, it feels too short and gives the feeling that something was missing (perhaps a few more scenes with Colin Clive) in this psychological thriller. It's not really a big flaw in the end, but I truly was expecting to see the wonderful story being explored a bit more, as personally I felt it somewhat incomplete. On a different business, and as expected in a film by Karl Freund, the cinematography is simply brilliant, Chester A. Lyons and Freund's protegé, Gregg Toland (who would become a legend on his own), are in charge of it and devise one of the most beautifully looking horror of the 30s, easily on par with Freund's job for Universal.

It's a shame that studios were more interested in Freund's work as a cinematographer, because "Mad Love" proves that there he truly had talent as a director too. Who knows what would Freund had directed after this movie, specially considering the great improvements in cinematography he went on devising through his long and successful career. As it is, "Mad Love" is the final statement of a master who simply wasn't allowed to make more films (although who knows, probably he wasn't interested in directing), but it is nice to see him retiring with a top notch masterpiece. 9/10


17 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Dr. Gogol's role jlstill
Waxwork Yvonne wrhamblen
DVD??? burymybody80
Signs your admirer may be a stalker: sariamew456
Mad Love poster mariana_v
Frankenstein (1931) references? jack_north
Discuss Mad Love (1935) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?