Things were going so well until the happy ending... as for the rest of the film, the acting is very theatrical, even operatic--though without spoken dialogue--and the story is just macabre enough to make it a worthy double feature with 'Nosferatu' (1922). A worthy example of German Expressionism, though I was half-expecting Edward G. Robinson to turn up at the end saying "yeah, see..."
This film whispers the threat of AI. Consider: TVs that figure out what one likes for dinner. A car that shares where we go up to the mothership. Watches that record heart rate. A relevant work of horror and intrigue that plays with the question of whether or not we are a set property of things, or if those things control us. Or if we are controlled by those who install them. Good questions, terrifying answers.
3-4. Mmm. I dunno; like 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari' it's a strange and visually astonishing movie, but whereas the ending to Caligari cleanly divides everything seen previously from the ending, here the twisty ending can't be parted from the main character's behavior beforehand; it calls into serious question what delusion can actually drive people to do, and the ending kinda guts the theme, too, unfortunately.
Difficult to rate a movie that is so brilliant until an unbelievable turn in the story destroys everything. This could be the best film by Wiene if it didn't involve the crook character, 'Nera'. Speaking of making an atmosphere and involving the psychological aspects of drama, this films works even better than Dr. Caligari, but the turn in the story ruins the greatness of the experience.
Wiene (Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) makes a dark and atmospheric tale out of 'Orlacs Hande' that would be surpassed by later sound versions. Conrad Veidt is quite good here but perhaps a little over emotive or over directed. The problem is the pacing and length which even by silent standards seems over baked and over long. Worth a watch but really nothing more than a wearied relic.
It was great. Really. Just... My poor, coddled attention span spent the whole time asking me why all the scenes had to be sooo interminably looong. Lucky for me, Guy Maddin made the way-more-fun version of this story in Cowards Bend the Knee. I'll leave this one to the patient folk.
Turns out Robert Wiene was more than a one-hit wonder! Orlac is a treat, and it shows that his use of outdoor locations and open spaces could be just as haunting and Expressionistic as the sets of Caligari. The fly in the ointment is the resolution, which is so tidy it nearly lets the air out of the whole thing. The brilliance of Caligari's ending is that it raised far more disturbing questions than it answered.
There is something horrifying but also strangely graceful and almost balletic about Conrad Veidt's performance. Alexandra Sorina is also superb. The visual style is much more naturalistic here than in Caligari, for example, but the actors retain an expressionistic performing style, and this combination produces a really dynamic tension. Loved it!
Those hands of Orlac, sure, they're really something; but the eyes of Alexandra Sorina! My God. A tour de force of trembling -- in passion, in terror, in deep and cutting chiaroscuro. Hers is a gaze that earns your surrender; before delivering you, of course, over to those murderous hands...
A concert pianist loses his hands in a terrible accident, only to have them surgically replaced with the hands of a recently executed murderer, that seem to have a mind their own in this German Expressionist classic. Hauntingly filmed, this chilling psychological thriller from the director of THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI is a finely crafted descent into madness with a great central performance by Conrad Veidt.