Sunday, November 01, 2015
The Hands Of Orlac
Orlac is a famous pianist who loses his hands in an unfortunate train accident. After much begging from his loving wife, a brilliant surgeon replaces his hands with those of an executed killer. When Orlac realizes what has been done he struggles with the evil that his hands have committed. Even though he is reassured, "The hands don't rule the person...the head and heart lead the body...and command the hands..." Orlac isn't buying it and when his father is murdered he becomes sure that he has committed the crime even though he has no memory of it. It is a long and complex struggle between good and evil all within his own mind, or is it? Could there be some other source of foul play at work here?
I love to dig up at least one or two of these old relics each year. There is so much emotion conveyed in these silent films through exaggerated gesture, truly a lost art. I could feel his struggle and sympathized with Orlac and his poor wife. What tormented souls they became all through an act of healing. If I have a complaint it is that the film seemed much longer than it actually was, time passes slowly when the world is silent.