Phantom Limbs

The Hands of Orlac (1924) - Robert Weine

Director Robert Weine, is a visionary with the camera. He is definitely on the contenders list of greatest horror directors, at least from his era. You can see all of the future directors that have taken interests in his film-making. David Lynch, for example, must have taken dozens of notes during this particular Weine film. Aside from Cabinet, this movie really takes the cake when it comes to Expressionist Horror. The movie is so fantastically presented that it couldn't get much better, right? Well... It stars none other than Conrad Veidt, horror actor extraordinaire. His performance as Paul Orlac is fantastic.

Silents are hard to watch sometimes, you really have to be in just the right mood. You have to appreciate the fact that they weren't able to portray any drama through speech. They had to rely soul-ly on their bodies. Some argue that silent acting is True acting. They think that getting someone to feel for you and actually get into your performance, based entirely on your actions, is incredibly hard. They were right. It is extremely hard. Conrad Veidt and Fritz Kortner really bring their performances to this one.

The plot is also something of a treat to me. The movie is based on the book Les mains d'orlac by Maurice Renard. It stars Conrad Veidt as Paul Orlac, a young up-and-coming composer that loses his hands in an accident. However, through experimental surgery, Orlac receives the hands of a murderous killer that was freshly executed. Orlac begins to go insane when his hands go on a vicious murder spree with him attached. The film deals with a great deal of tension and mystery.

The film is one of the best from the Silver Age of Horror (1919 - 1929), this era has seen some amazing films so far. Add this to the top of the heap. This movie is coming to you highly recommended. Do what you can to see this. I think that you can find it online.

Czech it out.


  • The film was approved for German release on 25 September 1924, but for adults only. An application was made by the Ministry of the Interior of Saxony dated 10 January 1925, urging that the film should be censored, because it " likely to endanger public safety and order..."
  • Hans Androschin, the cinematographer for the film, was a Nazi cinematographer during WWII.