This is a remake of the 1924 Austrian film The Hands of Orlac. This movie is the American film debut of acting great Peter Lorre, and unfortunately the last film directed by Karl Freund (The Golem, Metropolis, and The Mummy). Many film enthusiasts consider this movie to be Freund's Citizen Kane.
This film is more fleshed out than the 1924 original, and features some spectacular performances by Peter Lorre and the beautiful Frances Drake. The film is full of suspense and mystery and delivers some really creepy parts via Lorre's character and his obsession with Ms. Drake's character Yvonne Orlac. He keeps a wax mannequin of her around so that he can comfortably confess his love or whatever.
The film centers around Dr. Gogol (Lorre) who longs for the affections of Yvonne (Drake). Yvonne is married to a composer and pianist named Steven Orlac. At least he was a pianist before being injured in a train wreck where his hands were completely destroyed. Dr. Gogol, at the request of Yvonne, performs a groundbreaking hand transplant surgery on her husband. Unfortunately the hands used during the procedure are that of a killer...and they still want blood.
If you aren't really familiar with older, suspenseful, tasteful, horror films I suggest that you go out and pick up this movie. You will not be disappointed. The sets are fantastic, the acting is superb, the story is fleshed out just enough for you to really be able to sink your teeth into it. This has to be one of the greatest horror films of all time.
This film is perfect. The delivery is up there with any other horror film and it is dark, brooding and just plain creepy. It shows that you don't need gore or great special effects to make an amazing horror movie.
Each man kills the thing he loves
- Charlie Chaplin called Lorre the years best actor after seeing his performance in this film.
- This is Peter Lorre's first American role
- Lorre did not know how to speak English when this movie was filmed. He learned his lines phonetically.