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The Hands of Orlac (1924)

Orlacs Hände (original title)
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.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Paul Orlac (as Veidt)
Alexandra Sorina ...
Yvonne Orlac (as Sorina)
Fritz Strassny ...
Der alle Orlac (as Strassny)
Paul Askonas ...
Der Diener (as Askonas)
Carmen Cartellieri ...
Regine (as Cartellieri)
Hans Homma ...
Dr. Serral (as Homma)
Fritz Kortner ...
Nera (as Kortner)
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Storyline

Orlac is a world famous pianist. One day he is badly hurt in a big train wreck. He is in danger of losing both his hands so his wife begs the doctors to save them. They eventually manage to transplant his hands with those of another deceased person. After his recovery Orlac discovers that there is something seriously wrong with his new pair of hands -- it is as if they had a will of their own. But Orlac doesn't know that they actually belonged to a dangerous murderer. Written by Aljaz Ciber, Slovenia

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

4 June 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Hands of Orlac  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored DVD) | (2013 restored)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Censorship boards in Germany and Austria forbade teenagers from seeing the film despite no mention of adult-only elements in their review of the film. See more »

Goofs

When Orlac reads a newspaper, the headlines are in German but the body in French. See more »

Connections

Version of Mad Love (1935) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Gothic and Dark German Expressionist Film
22 November 2011 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

The pianist Paul Orlac (Conrad Veidt) is on tour and his wife Yvonne Orlac (Alexandra Sorina) anxiously waits for his return. While traveling back home, there is a train wreck at Montgeron and Orlac is very injured in both hands in the accident.

Yvonne begs to Dr. Serral (Hans Homma) to save his hands that are his life. Meanwhile, the robber and murderer Vasseur that claims that is innocent is sentenced to death since the police investigator had found his fingerprints everywhere near the victim. Dr. Serral transplants Vasseur's hands in Orlac and when he recovers, he feels that there is something wrong with his hands.

Orlac asks the surgeon about the hands and learns that he belonged to a criminal, and Orlac decides to never touch Yvonne again with those hands. His family becomes poor since he is not working anymore and Yvonne pays a visit to her father-in-law (Fritz Strassny) to ask for help. However, Orlac's father is a cruel man and does not help her. When Orlac returns home, Yvonne asks him to visit his father and when he arrives at his house, he finds his father dead. They call the police and they find Vasseur's fingerprint everywhere. Orlac is the only heir of his father fortune but sooner he is followed by a stranger named Nera (Fritz Kortner) that blackmails him and demands a small fortune. Orlac is not sure that he had killed his father and goes with Yvonne to the police. Sooner they discover a secret about Vasseur.

"Orlacs Hände" is a Gothic and dark German Expressionist film with an unbelievable plot (but who matters?) but wonderful theatrical performances like in most silent classics and perfect use of shadows in a gloomy atmosphere. The music score fits perfectly to the film and this is the first time that I watch this little masterpiece. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "As Mãos de Orlac" ("The Hands of Orlac")


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