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This film is a deliciously twisted thriller that blends grand guignol thrills with the visual and performance styles of German Expressionism. Based on a novel by medical-horror novelist Maurice Renard, it charts the mental disintegration of a concert pianist (Conrad Veidt) whose hands are amputated after a train crash, and replaced with the hands of an executed murderer. When Orlac's father is murdered by the dead man's hands, Orlac begins a steady descent toward madness. Produced in Vienna, this film is writhing with sexual innuendo and Freudian imagery.