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Mad Love Reviews

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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.
February 5, 2011
Outrageous story and over-the-top performances. Above all the original creep Peter Lorre.
January 15, 2011
Lorre's character is easily the most effective of the unsympathetic monsters in '30s horror and this version does a far better job of developing the supporting characters than the original 1924 film did. The only black mark is the ending, which is sudden and uninspired.
½ November 7, 2010
The creepiness builds as the film reaches its conclusion about a mad plastic surgeon obsessed with an actress and wife of a pianist. Lorre is wonderful.
October 30, 2010
This is a film that kind of fell through the cracks. Of its era it stands out as one of the strangest and most satisfying horror films. This tale of obsession and mad scientists is really just weird from beginning to end. Peter Lorre is certainly a huge contributing factor to the films oddness. His bug eyed look and frog like voice is at its most eerie here. It could easily be argued that he was born for a role like this. Besides physical features Lorre is also a terrific actor who can subtly create a character who may be odd, but completely believable. The mood of the film is wonderfully thick with gorgeous black and white cinematography by the masterful Gregg Toland. It is also directed by the talented German cinematographer Karl Freund. Its a shame that Fruend didn't make more films after this. A gorgeous and surreal horror fantasy.
½ October 22, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
½ October 19, 2010
I usually hate Peter Lorre, but I didn't mind him in this. I found it fairly 'meh' though. For a simple plot and a short film, it took a long time for things to happen.
October 17, 2010
Peter Lorre's first U.S. film establishes him as a total creepy mofo. Pretty silly and melodramatic, but tons of fun.
½ October 14, 2010
Peter Lorre is so effing good in this movie.
Horror Movie Project
Super Reviewer
October 10, 2010
This is a remake of the 1924 Austrian film The Hands of Orlac. This movie is the American film debut of acting great Peter Lorre, and unfortunately the last film directed by Karl Freund (The Golem, Metropolis, and The Mummy). Many film enthusiasts consider this movie to be Freund's Citizen Kane.

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

October 6, 2010
An excellent debut from Peter Lorre. He plays his maniacal surgeon with dread and villainy. The female lead and her husband also deliver good performances, and the knife throwing is cool. An excellent horror tale that blends science and terror.
½ September 17, 2010
'Each man kills the thing he loves.'

This adaption of 'Orlacs Hands' is set in Paris and it has everything a thirties horror-movie needs: dark atmosphere, Peter Lorre as lunatic and even organ music! Dr. Gogol (Lorre) is madly in love with the actress Mme. Orlac (Frances Drake), who is married to a pianist. The Doctor confesses his love and is not able to cope rejection. For some time a waxfigure takes the place of his beloved one. Luckily, after a train accident his time has come to play an important role in Mme. Orlacs life again. He is the only one who could save her husbands hands, that were damaged and nobody could save them, but the Doctor. Secretly he uses the hands of a guillotined murderer to replace the pianists hands. Mme. Orlac is grateful, but not more. But the Doctor found his time has come, as the hands begin to try to kill people. Gogol is now willing to do everything to archive love...

Peter Lorres way of acting is, as always, brilliant. His soft and sugary voice, the looks from his big eyes, even his insane laughter, make this movie memorable. He presents more than one side of the lunatic (not as complex as in 'M' of course), as he caress a frightend child, or as he shows the loneliness of Gogol that almost makes you feel pity for him.

' 's queer people on the streets of Montmatre this time of night...'
Super Reviewer
September 15, 2010
I'm madly in love with this movie and Peter Lorre! It's so beautiful and horrific all at once, very romantic. If you love old horror movies, you must see this one.
May 23, 2010
I am one of the biggest Peter Lorre fans that I know so I was excited to see this. It was weird.
½ April 15, 2010
What a creepy little film. Great atmosphere, genuinely eerie and Peter Lorre is amazing as a mad doctor. His performance is over the top, but he is supposed to be insane. Good cinematography and lighting. Short and fast paced. A unique and fascinating story that is very well done.
½ April 15, 2010
78/100. What a creepy little film. Great atmosphere, genuinely eerie and Peter Lorre is amazing as a mad doctor. His performance is over the top, but he is supposed to be insane. Good cinematography and lighting. Short and fast paced. A unique and fascinating story that is very well done.
November 1, 2009
of course peter lorre is in this hella scary-sounding movie. his first hollywood picture was pretty good and quite fitting for a Halloween viewing!
October 23, 2009
A tale of a man driven to insanity by his lust for a woman he could never obtain. Lorre is genuinely powerful as Dr. Gogol and Frances Drake proves herself able match wits with him as she plays the object of his desire. Colin Clive is also strong and Freund's direction is sharply expressionistic. The scene where Lorre masquarades before Clive as a headless man reborn is still creepy.
Super Reviewer
½ October 6, 2009
Peter Lorre gives another wonderfully creepy performance as brilliant but off his rocker Dr. Gogol. He is in love with actress Yvonne Orlac (Frances Drake). She is married to a concert pianist (Colin Clive). When Orlac's hands are crushed in a train accident, Yvonne goes to him for help. His love for her (and his loose screws) persuade him to do some dastardly deeds that he hopes will ruin Orlac, both physically and emotionally, on the idea that Yvonne will leave her husband for Gogol. Soime really unsettling scenes, particularly when Gogol kisses Yvonne at her going-away party. Gets fewer stars than it should because the character, for comic relief I suppose, of the wisecracking reporter (played by Ted Healy, who I believe gave the Three Stooges their start) was out of place. Otherwise, well-done.
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