7.3/10
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81 user 35 critic

Mad Love (1935)

Passed | | Horror, Romance, Sci-Fi | 12 July 1935 (USA)
In France, an insane surgeon's obsession with an actress from England leads him to replace her pianist husband's hands that got mangled in an accident with the hands of a late 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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On TV

Airs Sat. Aug. 25, 3:15 AM on TCM

ON DISC
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Doctor Gogol
... Yvonne Orlac
... Stephen Orlac
... Reagan
... 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)
... Undetermined Role (scenes deleted)
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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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$257,502 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Other titles considered for this film included "The Mad Doctor of Paris" and "The Hands of Orlac". See more »

Goofs

When a fly crawls up into Gogol's cobra pitcher plant, the plant's leaves fold upward to trap the fly. Many insectivorous plants are capable of movement, but pitcher plants are immobile; the plant's leaves were pulled up by unseen wires. See more »

Quotes

Doctor Gogol: Impossible?
Dr. Wong, Gogol's Assistant: Impossible!
Doctor Gogol: Napoleon said that word is not French.
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

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

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User Reviews

 
Aside From M, Lorre's Strongest Performance
3 November 2010 | by See all my reviews

Dr. Gogol (Peter Lorre) becomes obsessed with Yvonne Orlac (Frances Drake), not realizing she is married. When her husband (Colin Clive) has his pianist hands crushed, Gogol must save him... but the new hands take on a life of their own!

With all due respect to the other cast and crew, this is Peter Lorre's movie, through and through. He was great in "M", but really breaks through here. As Mike Mayo says, "nothing on screen tops Lorre's eggshell-smooth bald dome, and the makeup he wears toward the end." This was Lorre's first American film and he blends in flawlessly.

The imagery is also great with its stark black and white, director Karl Freund's homage to German expressionism. Although also directing "The Mummy", Freund was better known as a cinematographer and occasional producer, not preferring to direct. (He was also a communist sympathizer in pre-Nazi Germany... his wife was exterminated.)

The film is beautifully shot, mixing Freund's expressionism with cinematographer Gregg Toland's own skills. Toland, of course, went on to film "Citizen Kane", and many have seen the parallels between this film and that. Also, while multiple versions of this story ("The Hands of Orlac") have been filmed, both before and after "Mad Love", this is the superior film.

Much has been written and much more ought to be written, but in short, "Mad Love" is the overlooked gem of 1930s horror and really deserves a wider audience with a better examination of it and those involved.


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