The Hands of Orlac (1960)

One of the numerous film versions of the compelling story of The Hands of Orlac, a pianist who has a murderer’s hands grafted on to his after an accident. This time Mel Ferrer is Stephen Orlac. Ferrer actually does a pretty good job in this rather complex role of someone being torn apart not by the fact that he kills but rather by the thought that he sometimes thinks he must or will kill. There is only one murder in this film, so if action is your poison you might want to pass. However, despite the lack of action and any real budget in this film, the film is rather good, especially during the second half where the pace is picked up considerably. Christopher Lee as a blackmailing magician is the real star of the film as he plays one of his oiliest, slickest bad guys on film. Lee oozes a kind of vitriolic charm as he maniacally laughs and speaks ever so nicely whilst blackmailing. Danny Carrel plays his lovely French-speaking assistant with gusto, charm, and lusciousness. The film has a good cast of character actors like Felix Alymer, Donald Pleasance in a meaningless yet nice cameo, and Sir Donald Wolfit in an equally small role. Modern(what passed for modern then) music plays throughout.The film is markedly different from many other versions, and in particular Mad Love. It has an interesting twist ending. All in all a pretty good little film.