Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Mad Love (1935)

The famous Dr. Gogol (Peter Lorre) becomes infatuated with the star of a macabre theater production. When he reveals his affection for her, she reveals she's married to the famous pianist Orlac (Colin Clive). The good doctor then reveals how creepy he can be.

Later, Mr. Orlac's hands are crushed in a train accident and the doctors cannot save them. Yvonne begs Dr. Gogol to help, but he fails as well and instead transplants the hands of an executed murdered.

Peter Lorre was, at least in his early years, a truly wonderful actor. He is obsessed but does not start out to do evil. He tries to save the hands of Yvonne's husband to prove his love, then descends into madness. This is his first American film and his performance rivals his from M.

Ted Healy, of Stooge fame, has a small role as a reporter. His reckless mishandling of the Stooges forced them to give him the heave-ho. Alcoholism and a piss-poor attitude resulted in him getting his ass handed to him a bar fight in 1937, death resulting. Colin Clive, also a drinker, died that same year.

The impact of many of the climactic scenes may be credited to director Karl Freund. A prolific and highly respected cinematographer, it has been asserted that it was his camera artistry that saved a very troubled Dracula production. He also has Metropolis on his resume.

Mad Love is a well made, lesser known gem. The story, while not overly complex, offers some clever twists. I found myself thinking back on it for quite a while. I will see it again. AMRU 4.
"Each man kills the thing he loves."

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