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Mad Love (1935)


Ktrek

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Peter Lorre .... Doctor Gogol

Frances Drake .... Yvonne Orlac

Colin Clive .... Stephen Orlac

Ted Healy .... Reagan, the American Reporter

Sara Haden .... Marie, Yvonne's Maid

Edward Brophy .... Rollo the Knife Thrower

 

It had been four years since Lorre's disturbing and controversial film "M" had debuted and only one year since Alfred Hitchcock's first making of The Man Who Knew Too Much starring Lorre. This film places Lorre in another somewhat disturbing role about a surgeon, Doctor Gogol played by Lorre, who is obsessively in love with a beautiful actress, Yvonne Orlac played by Frances Drake. Francis Drake's character is married to a traveling pianist, played by Colin Clive of Dr. Frankenstein fame.

 

Stephen Orlac happens to be on a train that a prisoner, played by Edward Brophy as the murderer Rollo the knife thrower, is being transported to his scheduled execution. While in transport the train wrecks and Orlac's hands are both severely injured.

 

Yvonne Orlac desperate to save her husbands hands takes him to the neurosurgeon Dr. Gogol. Gogol suggests amputation but Yvonne insists there must be something more he can do. Gogol seems to enjoy attending executions and in a moment of insight he devises a way to attach the hands of the now deceased Rollo in place of Orlac's real hands. Through therapy he is able to gain use of the hands but the hands have a mind and will of their own...those of their previous owner. They like to throw knives! :o

 

This film is really well done and I would consider it to be a cult classic. The subject is creepy and Lorre adds depth and dimension to Doctor Gogol and his obsessive love for Mrs. Orlac that eventually leads him into trouble.

 

I give this 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

 

Have you seen this film? What are your thoughts about it?

 

Kevin

 

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One of Lorre's most interesting performances, full of sexual what-ifs and bizarre kinkiness that one could go into great depth analyzing and which certainly makes it a unique production coming from, of all studios, MGM. It is interesting to note that while not noted for horror films, MGM produced four of the most fascinating films of the genre of the 1930s: The Mask of Fu Manchu, Freaks, Mad Love and The Devil-Doll. Each film can easily hold its own against any other of the period and I keep crossing my fingers that it will not be just Freaks that is accorded a treasured Warner DVD release.

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  • 1 month later...

One of my most prominent thoughts about the movie is - What happened to it? I mean this: Isabel Jewell is prominently listed on the posters, yet she was cut entirely out of the movie... what's the story? Was a huge subplot cut out? Was she replaced?

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  • 3 months later...

I wish MAD LOVE were available on DVD. Peter Lorre gives perhaps his finest performance in a horror picture here, and indeed, the film ranks as one of the best from Horror's Golden Age.

Also, it wouldn't be bad if TCM ran the film once in a while...(hint!).

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've never seen this Flick but I agree TCM should show it more. Maybe if we start a write in they will show it more? Maybe they should have an all Peter Lorre 1930's Friday night special once a month? Lorre is one of my favorite actors from the 1930's and 1940's.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mad Love is absoultely incredible. I recorded it on TCM last year, but being the putz I am I forgot it was on and missed the beginning. I'd love for this film to be released on DVD. Peter Lorre had his own spooky quality that was great.

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Rats! If Mad Love was on TCM, I missed it! I haven't seen it for years, but I'll never forget it. Lorre is one my favorites, and he was terrific in this film. I haven't seen Frances Drake in anything since - I thought she was really gorgeous. The movie itself is, I think, pretty lurid, but very well done and appropriately creepy. I think it's worlds better than the numerous remakes and "based ons." There is a contemporary film of some sort also called Mad Love which has nothing to do with this one. Every time I see it listed in a TV schedule I'm disappointed.

 

I'll throw the hint as well - TCM, this is a good one, and if you show it again, there will surely be more converts.

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  • 1 month later...

Mad Love is a fantastic movie! its soo disturbing. they definitely need to put it on DVD with some good extras. in fact i think peter lorre needs a boxed set of his films.

 

i'm not sure but i keep thinking Lorre did a film with a similar plot to Mad Love, or maybe it was someone else? it just seems to me like I saw another movie where the hands of a killer were removed or killing people on there own or something.

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In 1946, Lorre did "The Beast With Five Fingers," about a severed hand that was seeking revenge on him (although studio tampering explained that Lorre had simly gone mad out of guilt.)

 

Boris karloff's TV show Thriller had an episode "The Terror in Teakwood" in which the severed hands of a composer came back for revenge.

 

The Amicus film "Dr. Terror's House of Horrors" had Christopher Lee as an art critic pursued by a severed hand. (this was the best episode of the movie.)

 

I've seen all three of those. Around 1980, Oliver Stone made "The Hand" in which Michael Caine had trouble with a severed hand.

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You may have already heard this, but in case you haven't -- "Mad Love" will be coming out on DVD this October.

 

Warner Home Video is releasing it on October 3, 2006, as part of a 6-film box-set -- "Hollywood's Legends of Horror Collection". Included with "Mad Love" will be the movie's original trailer, plus commentary by Steve Haberman, author of "Chronicles of Terror".

 

Amazon and Barnes & Noble are among the on-line merchants offering the set for pre-release order. And you can find out more about the DVD on the official website for Peter Lorre's biography, "The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre" by Stephen Youngkin -- http://www.PeterLorreBook.com -- on the DVD page.

 

Cheryl

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