In Paris, Dr. Gogol is infatuated with theater actress Yvonne Orlac as he returns to his same box seat for her every performance. Yvonne is married, however, to concert pianist Stephen Orlac. They plan to move to England. When Stephen’s talented hands are crushed in a train wreck, Yvonne asks for Dr. Gogol’s help by operating to save them. Although the doctor can’t save Stephen’s hands, he will do anything to help Yvonne. His solution is to replace the hands with those of an executed knife-throwing murderer. Gogol’s obsession with Yvonne grows while Stephen discovers that his proficiency at the piano has been replaced by an uncanny accuracy with throwing things. The doctor’s next move is to play on Stephen’s mental distress to convince him that he is crazy, and a murderer. It is the only way he can get Yvonne. –IMDb
Karl W. Freund, A.S.C. (January 16, 1890-May 3, 1969) was an Oscar-winning German cinematographer and film director.
Born in Königinhof, Bohemia, his career began in 1905 when, at age 15, he got a job as an assistant projectionist for a film company in Berlin.
He worked as a cinematographer on over 100 films, including the German Expressionist films The Golem (1920), The Last Laugh (1924) and Metropolis (1927). Freund emigrated to the United States in 1929 where he continued to shoot well-remembered films such as Dracula (1931) and Key Largo (1948). He won an Academy Award for Best Cinematography for The Good Earth (1937). In 1937, he went to Germany to bring his only daughter, Gerda Maria Freund, back to the United States, saving her from almost certain death in the concentration camps. Karl’s ex-wife, Susette Freund, remained in Germany where she was interned at the Ravensbrück and eventually taken in March, 1942… read more
A brilliant little movie, full of passion and poison, with imagery that clearly had a cardinal influence on Welles.
Expressionist photography! And sets! Ceilings! Peter Lorre! Karl Freund! Gregg Toland! What's not to love?! (Can't understand why Lowry's "Under The Volcano" referred to it with so much scorn.)