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.
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 <email@example.com>
After its initial release, 15 minutes were cut from the film, including the pre-credit warning to the audience and the surgery to obtain Rollo's hands. See more »
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 »
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!
Let me go, Gogol! Please!
You speak! You speak to me! My love has made you live! Galatea, give me your lips!
Let me go! Let me go!
Why are you afraid of me? I love you! I love you! You came to life for me! Don't you know me, Galatea?
Yes. Yes, I am Galatea. But let me go now, please! I promise to come back!
You are lying. You wouldn't come back. You hate ...
[...] See more »
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 »
This adaptation of Renard's The Hands of Orlac is quite good, yet a bit on the stagy side. It is one of Peter Lorre's early films and his first for Hollywood. Lorre is quite good, and almost sympathetic in a way, as a surgeon who has hopelessly fallen in love with the wife of a great pianist. Colin Clive of Frankenstein fame plays the musician, and Frances Drake plays his rather annoying, overacting wife. The visuals of the film are first-rate, as it was directed by great cameraman Karl Freund. Ted Healy adds some unnecessary comic relief. What I liked best about the film was the staging of the story against some beautiful expressionistic sets and Freunds expressive camerawork.
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