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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mad Love (1935)

A famous and skilled surgeon (Peter Lorre) is obsessed with an actress (Frances Drake) who performs in a Grand Guignol style theater of horror. But she's married and rejects his advances. But when her pianist husband (Colin Clive, FRANKENSTEIN) is seriously injured in a train wreck, she appeals to the surgeon to save her husband's hands rather than amputate them. He saves the husband's hands but he doesn't tell them that he's actually grafted the hands of an executed murderer to the husband. Soon, the hands seem to have a life of their own. A remake of the 1924 German silent film THE HANDS OF ORLAC, I found this economical little horror more effective than its predecessor. Until he goes completely round the bend at the end of the film, one can't help but feel pity for Lorre's lonely misfit who's never known the love of a woman. The director Karl Freund was a renowned cinematographer, he shot Lang's METROPOLIS, who only occasionally directed (his most famous film is the 1932 THE MUMMY) and he brings a nice mood to this twisted tale. With Sara Haden, Keye Luke and Edward Brophy.

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