The Hands of Orlac (1960)

 |  Crime, Horror, Sci-Fi  |  13 May 1964 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.7/10 from 233 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 6 critic

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 »


(novel), (adaptation), 3 more credits »
0Check in
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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.

Director: Robert Wiene
Stars: Conrad Veidt, Alexandra Sorina, Fritz Kortner
Certificate: Passed Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A concert pianist loses his hands in a car crash, but a surgeon gives him new ones. The experimental medical procedure goes awry when the new hands drive the pianist mad.

Director: Newt Arnold
Stars: Paul Lukather, Joan Harvey, James Noah
Mad Love (1935)
Certificate: Passed Horror | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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: Karl Freund
Stars: Peter Lorre, Frances Drake, Colin Clive
The Witches (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Following a horrifying experience with the occult in Africa, a schoolteacher moves to a small English village, only to discover that black magic resides there as well.

Director: Cyril Frankel
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Kay Walsh, Alec McCowen
Sci-Fi | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The world in the late 19th century: A scientist and his team are held as "guests" of Robur on his airship, that he want to use to ensure peace on earth. Peace with all, even if he has to ... See full summary »

Director: William Witney
Stars: Vincent Price, Charles Bronson, Henry Hull
Certificate: GP Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

While mainland Britain shivers in deepest winter, the northern island of Fara bakes in the nineties. The boys at the Met station have no more idea what is going on than the regulars at the ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Fisher
Stars: Christopher Lee, Patrick Allen, Peter Cushing
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In a turn-of-the-century Renaissance Italian 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
Horror | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Dr. Henry Jekyll experiments with scientific means of revealing the hidden, dark side of man and releases a murderer from within himself.

Director: Terence Fisher
Stars: Paul Massie, Dawn Addams, Christopher Lee
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Edinburgh surgeon Dr. Robert Knox requires cadavers for his research into the functioning of the human body; local ne'er-do-wells Burke and Hare find ways to provide him with fresh ... See full summary »

Director: John Gilling
Stars: Peter Cushing, June Laverick, Donald Pleasence
The Hand (1960)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A Police Inspector follows the trail and circumstances of the murder of a one-handed man back to a prisoner-of-war camp in Burma in 1946.

Director: Henry Cass
Stars: Derek Bond, Reed De Rouen, Bryan Coleman
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In London's Soho, Johnny Solo runs the Pink Flamingo Club. He's tough to intimidate. So when he starts getting threats and demands for protection, he fights back. Behind the takeover plot ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Young
Stars: Jayne Mansfield, Leo Genn, Karlheinz Böhm
Gorgo (1961)
Action | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Greedy sailors capture a giant lizard off the coast of Ireland and sell it to a London circus. Then its mother shows up.

Director: Eugène Lourié
Stars: Bill Travers, William Sylvester, Vincent Winter


Cast overview:
Dany Carrel ...
Régina / Li-Lang
Nero the magician
Lucile Saint-Simon ...
Louise Cochrane Orlac
Edouard Hemme ...
Professor Volchett (as Sir Donald Wolfit)
Mireille Perrey ...
Madame Aliberti
Felix Aylmer ...
Dr. Francis Cochrane
Yanilou ...
Basil Sydney ...
Maurice Seidelman
Franca Bellj ...
Cell Whore (as Franca Bel)
Peter Reynolds ...
Mr. Felix
Campbell Singer ...
Inspector Henderson
Graham Coates


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 crimes. A seedy magician suspects what is happening and tries to blackmail him. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The frightening nightmare of a man who finds himself with hands which he can't control! See more »


See all certifications »






Release Date:

13 May 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hands of a Strangler  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (video)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Christopher Lee was coached to perform magic tricks by Billy McComb. Even though most of them were done with camera tricks, Lee was still made a member of the Magic Circle. See more »


Version of Hands of a Stranger (1962) See more »


C'est parti
Music by Claude Bolling
Lyrics by Jacques Esterel
Sung by Dany Carrel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Who Can Strangle Women and Play the Piano? The Hand-Y- Man Can!
8 December 2001 | by (NC) – See all my reviews

One of the numerous film versions of the compelling story of The Hands of Orlac, a pianist who has a murderer's hands grafted on to his after an accident. This time Mel Ferrer is Stephen Orlac. Ferrer actually does a pretty good job in this rather complex role of someone being torn apart not by the fact that he kills but rather by the thought that he sometimes thinks he must or will kill. There is only one murder in this film, so if action is your poison you might want to pass. However, despite the lack of action and any real budget in this film, the film is rather good, especially during the second half where the pace is picked up considerably. Christopher Lee as a blackmailing magician is the real star of the film as he plays one of his oiliest, slickest bad guys on film. Lee oozes a kind of vitriolic charm as he maniacally laughs and speaks ever so nicely whilst blackmailing. Danny Carrel plays his lovely French-speaking assistant with gusto, charm, and lusciousness. The film has a good cast of character actors like Felix Alymer, Donald Pleasance in a meaningless yet nice cameo, and Sir Donald Wolfit in an equally small role. Modern(what passed for modern then) music plays throughout.The film is markedly different from many other versions, and in particular Mad Love. It has an interesting twist ending. All in all a pretty good little film.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Remake of Mad Love and coming out on Kino DVD hamletmachin
A similar theme in a 70's tv episode/film simon caleb
Antoine Balpêtré Morbius-7
Discuss The Hands of Orlac (1960) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: