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Mad Love (1935)

Passed | | Horror, Romance, Sci-Fi | 12 July 1935 (USA)
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") | 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:

His love was pitiful...hopeless...madness...yet "The Thing" tired of pity - and demanded love! 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

The original titles were to contain a spoken warning in a manner similar to Frankenstein (1931) also written by Balderston, but that was abandoned in favor of the more original idea of the titles on a window climaxed by a fist smashing it. See more »

Goofs

When Rollo goes to the guillotine, the device is shown against the sky. The "sky" has seams in it, revealing it to be a backdrop. See more »

Quotes

Rollo the Knife Thrower: [seeing the guillotine] Boy! Ain't that somethin'?
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 »


Soundtracks

Siegfried Idyll
(1869) (uncredited)
Music by Richard Wagner
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant Gothic Horror
31 March 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Apparently, Peter Lorre only agreed to do this film because he had been promised the lead in "Crime & Punishment" afterwards if he did it. I've seen both films, and though Lorre was magnificent in both, I prefer this one. I'm so glad he agreed to do it.

"Mad Love" is the story of Doctor Gogol, brilliant Parisian surgeon whose reputation for doing surgeries on desperate cases free of charge is well- renowned. But Doctor Gogol is a morbid man as well, gleefully attending public beheadings and taking orgasmic delight in the Grand Guignol Theatre de Horreur, which stages realistic horror plays. The star of the Theatre is Yvonne, and Doctor Gogol is madly in love with her, hence the title of our film. But Yvonne is already married to Stephen Orlac, a famous concert pianist. Doctor Gogol, with his bald head and buggy eyes, gives her the creeps and her distaste for him is clear. However, when her husbands train crashes and his million-dollar hands are destroyed, it is Doctor Gogol she turns to. Desperate to win the love of Yvonne, Gogol agrees to do the impossible. Stephen Orlac is saved...but only Gogol knows that his hands are no longer his own. They once belonged to a killer, and they want to kill again.

Lorre turns in yet another astonishing performance here; his Gogol is very convincing, quite capable of handling a few lines of cornball dialogue without seeming foolish in the least. And the sympathy he elicits is simply amazing; I found myself cheering for him the whole time instead of for Yvonne, who struck me as a cold, opportunistic gold digger, quite willing to use the Doctor if it served her purpose. I'm sure this was not the intent of the filmmakers, but Lorre emerges as the hero here, at least in my humble opinion. Toward the end of the film, he is completely unleashed, playing mad, wild music on the organ and donning a most hideous metal contraption which looks like something that H. R. Giger might have designed.

This beautiful black-and-white film by MGM rivals the classic monsters of Universal, and placed Peter Lorre alongside such horror movie icons as Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff and Vincent Price. Reportedly, Lorre detested these horror film roles that made him famous, but his resentment never shows through; he threw himself into this and every role with creativity and zeal. He is truly marvelous to watch. Mad Love should not be missed by fans of old, spooky Gothic tales. It is a masterpiece.


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