This is Peter Lorre's first Hollywood film and it is a good one with lots of creepy atmosphere and effects. Lorre plays a mad surgeon, Dr. Gogol who becomes obsessed with an actress, Yvonne, who is married to a classical pianist and composer, Stephan.
After a terrible accident, Yvonne's husband Stephan has to have his hand amputated. His career seems like it is over. To avoid amputation, Yvonne takes Stephan to Dr. Gogol and begs him to save her husband's hands. Dr. Gogol has just returned from a beheading of a murderous circus knife thrower and comes up with a plan to graft the murderer's hands onto Stephan.
The operation is a success, but Stephan can't play the piano and he suddenly finds it impossible to stop throwing knives at people. Gogol finds this out and thinks he can take Yvonne away by convincing Stephan that he is a murderer.
I loved the creepy gothic look of this movie and the story, even though absurd, is well-done and at times fun to watch. Lorre was a strange looking man, but an actor that uses that strange look to maximum advantage. Just by gazing at Lorre's face, you can actually see the gears turning inside of his head. He was really extraordinary. This movie is definitely for people who like old black and white movies with great performances. It is a thrilling chiller of a move that is fun to watch.