Mad Love Reviews
A mad scientist falls in love with an actress of a local play. Unfortunately, the actress is married to a traveling musician and intends on leaving the play and town. The pianist is in an unfortunate accident and loses his hands and the only person who can save him is the mad scientist. The scientist gives him hands that work, but they're the hands of a killer. The hands will make him start killing hopefully leading to the pianist getting locked up and the scientist getting the girl...but nothing ever goes as planned for mad scientists!
"I've been meeting you in my dreams all of my life."
Karl Freund, director of The Mummy, Dracula (Bela Lugosi), The Countess of Monte Cristo, Uncertain Lady, Gift of Gab, and I Give My Love, delivers Mad Love. The storyline for this picture is compelling and contains fantastic characters. The villain was depicted perfectly and the script, backdrops, and costumes and make-up were perfect. The cast delivers splendid performances and includes Peter Lorre, Frances Drakes, Colin Clive, Ted Healey, Sara Haden, and Keye Luke.
"I'm afraid we'll have to amputate."
I DVR'd this off Turner Classic Movies (TCM) this past holiday season and was excited to watch this Lorre masterpiece. I thoroughly enjoyed his performance and thought he played the villain masterfully. This is a classic gem that belong on TCMs annual rotation and is borderline worth adding to your classic collection if you're a fan of the genre.
"That would probably cause him to...commit murder himself..."
The story is fantastic, however, it's a bit toned down from the novel so as to pass regulations, but it was STILL banned in other countries. Usually, I'm not much for censorship, but I can see why the Hays commission toned Mad Love down a notch as, Lorre is almost the predecessor to Frank in Blue Velvet. He's a tad perverse.
With only one hour's run-time, I can't help but think of what else could have been added to this already solid film to send it over the top. The Greek Pygmalion subtext is stunning, as is Lorre's psychosis and Clive's psychotic streak.
Give it a hook!
Dr. Gogol is obsessed with an theater actress named Yvonne Orlac. He's seen all of her performances, sends her flowers and even acquires actual wax replica of Yvonne herself. I smell a stalker. After one performance, Dr. Gogol meets with her in her dressing room. He discovers that she's going away with her husband, the famous pianist Stephen Orlac, to live in England. This does not sit well for Gogol, but luckily a series of events unfold that would forever change the lives of Yvonne and Stephen.
Stephen Orlac is on aboard a train heading to Paris to meet with his wife. On board is a killer name Rollo whose method of killing is by throwing knives at his victims. Fate has put these two men together on this train for a reason. A mad reason, but a reason none the less.
As Yvonne waits for her husband tragic news spreads that the train he was on has crashed. He wasn't killed fortunately, but his hands are badly damaged which happens to be his lively hood. Yvonne, even though she isn't fond of the idea since he gives her the creeps, phones for Dr. Gogol to help with the amputation of her husband's hands.
Gogol, however, isn't in at the time. He's spending his time at the guillotine to watch Rollo's beheading. By the time he does get the word, he comes up with a plan. With Rollo dead and Stephen needing a new pair of hands he figures he could attach Rollo's onto Stephen's giving him back his need to play the piano again. Gogol also believes that he could win the heart of Yvonne by doing such a kind deed, but poor Gogol is such a psychopath that it could never work.
Stephen's new hands prove to be poor at playing the piano. Since they're someone else's it would be difficult anyways, but Stephen is good at knife throwing which could be his new calling in life. With these hands, Stephen has a power beyond his control to kill.
Love, for Gogol anyways, is an obsessive thing. He loves Yvonne so much that he's willing to kill her. He's like a rabid dog or Glenn Beck. He just needs to be put down and out of his and other's misery.
This film is based on The Hands of Orlac which was a novel and a silent film that starred Conrad Veidt. I haven't seen that version of it, but I assume there is no Dr. Gogol. Peter Lorre does an astounding job at playing the psycho doctor. You could categorize this film as a deep dark demented comedy due to it's jumbling balance of pathos and dark humor.
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.
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 movie is getting the coveted 10 out of 10 rating. 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