Mad Love - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mad Love Reviews

Page 1 of 6
November 10, 2015
A perfect little horror film. Lorre's first in the US, and quite a treat to see him with both Clive & Healy.
½ October 24, 2015
This is, for the most part, utterly terrific filmmaking, though. Lorre is so incredible as Gogol that he forgives all the other human-sized sins the film could possibly come up with. The makeup artists doubled down on the actor's already weirdly doughy baby features by shaving every bit of hair from his face and head; adding that to his great skill at bugging out his features and winding his voice up to a piercing squeak, and Lorre's Gogol turns out to be an utterly captivating and endlessly creepy figure, lumpy command of English and all, and far more difficult to get a grasp on than the usual mad scientist; he is, clearly, a gifted and passionate surgeon, which makes his descent into psychotic behavior even more disturbing.
½ October 12, 2015
It's absurd that this has 100% on rotten tomatoes, but yeah, it's a good movie. I've seen it a handful of times and always enjoy it. Lorre is great. The wax dummy stuff is great. Very enjoyable little film.
½ October 9, 2015
strange but worth a look Lorre is the fuel that makes this 1 go
March 26, 2015
Perhaps more appropriately titled, "The Hands of Orlac", after the French source material, this horror film involves a hand transplant (from knife throwing murderer to concert pianist) where the hands have a will of their own. Peter Lorre, in his first American film, is disturbing as the icky sleazy warped doctor who is infatuated with the actress married to the concert pianist. There are some good creepy moments where Lorre seems to drool over torture scenes in a play starring the actress - what is his infatuation with her? Is it some kind of degraded sexual fetish? Lorre makes you think so. The rest of the film (and even Karl Freund's heralded direction) can't keep up with Lorre's standards.
½ January 7, 2015
Each man kills the things he loves.

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..."

Grade: A-
December 29, 2014
Here's weird little horror movie. Peter Lorre, in his first American film, is a crazy surgeon who sews a knife killer's hands onto the arms of a talented pianist. The catch? Lorre is disturbingly obsessed with the pianist's wife. Complications ensue.
½ October 30, 2014
Lorre as a very odd and psychologically disturbed genius of a doctor, who fixates on one woman. Then the trouble of a creepy man being able to save one's love and then creating a monster makes for one fascinating movie. A little thick on the melodrama, but it is still a memorable flick.
½ October 25, 2013
According to the reviews, this film is some kind of horror classic, but I'm not buyin' it. The story is ridiculous and the cast wisely performs it with campy gusto. I was laughing at the screen and yet I get the feeling that everyone involved was laughing along with me. Still, I wasn't impressed and Lorre would go on to do better things in his American career.
½ July 2, 2013
Mad Love (1935) -- [7.0] -- Peter Lorre stars as a doctor so obsessed with an actress (Frances Drake), that after a train wreck destroys her husband's hands, Lorre offers to perform a transplant. Problem is, the new hands once belonged to a murderer, and old habits die hard... even for disembodied hands. "Mad Love" benefits from Lorre's creepy performance and many exotic settings, including recreations of a famous Guignol playhouse where the ushers are masked monsters and the ticket salesman has no head. The plotting is far more intricate than most other horror films from its time (or beyond its time). For a while, the script feels like its all over the place, but rest assured that all of the disparate elements -- including a wax doppelganger of the actress -- come together in the end. My favorite scene is a clandestine meeting between the actress' husband (Colin Clive from the "Frankenstein" films) and a masked, whispering character who reveals himself to be the previous owner of Clive's murderous hands. Director Karl Freund worked as cinematographer on "Metropolis" and "Dracula" before directing his first American film, "The Mummy" with Boris Karloff. Though he'd continue photographing films and television into the '50s, "Mad Love" would be his last time in the directing chair.
½ April 28, 2013
The eerie American Re-Telling of the Hands of Orlac with a much faster past & more gripping.

Full of beautiful eerie lighting & the creepy atmosphere of those earlier German Expressionistic films the director used to work on.

This is much more stylish than the usual horror film & it's well worth a watch. The story of a mad doctor obsessed with this great musicians wife & does a creepy hand transplant to cause major havoc.

A better than the average 30's horror quite a good flick...
½ April 19, 2013
I don't remember this too well, but I know it was somewhat interesting. And Peter Lorre is always fascinating to watch.
December 28, 2012
Deliciously warped, ridiculous, and grotesque. This remake of The Hands of Orlac has lots of great atmosphere and some great performances, but I must admit, I wanted more Lorre.
May 17, 2012
Peter Lorre's is masterful once again. Love obsessed Dr. Gogol is driven to madness. In his genius he is a wizard of medicine crossing the lines of taboo but yet he is socially inept. His ego cannot be denied and he is determined to conquer love. Great cinematography combined with science fiction issue of transplant surgery make for a great dark story. Lorre is powerful in obsession and madness.
½ March 3, 2012
Full-on weirdness! Evocative cinematography, great production design, and an unhinged, wonderfully-deranged performance by Peter Lorre.
½ July 24, 2011
Peter Lorre's first US movie and a classic from the Golden Age of Horror. Karl Freund directs a sterling cast - lead by Lorre, Colin Clive and Frances Drake.
½ June 16, 2011
I was POSITIVE this is the film where the amputated hands of a killer take over their new owner to the point where he strangles the one he loves... not throws knifes. So, I was wrong. Does it matter? Nope, as Peter Lorre is to acting as Heaven is to Christians. The man can go from 0-60rpm in an instant (while at 60rpm he's frightening, but at 0 he's passive and lovable, go figure).

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!
½ April 13, 2011
Generally speaking, I am inclined to sympathize with the villain in this sort of tale. A mad man falls in love with a beautiful woman who belongs to another man and does everything in his power to make her his own in his obsessive desires... but Peter Lorre is so fantastically creepy that I have a hard time being truly empathetic for ol' Doc Gogol. Great flick.
½ March 22, 2011
"Each man kills the thing he loves." - Dr. Gogol.

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.
Page 1 of 6