The Hands of Orlac
Film by Robert Wiene
Music by Scott Good
Silent film masterpiece of horror and romance, with live orchestra.
Running time: 2hrs20min (incl. intermission)
The Hands of Orlac is a superb example of the introduction of expressionism in German/Austrian silent movies in the 1920s. The story revolves around concert pianist Paul Orlac (Conrad Veidt) who loses his hands in a horrific railway accident. His wife Yvonne (Alexandra Sorina) pleads with a surgeon to try and save Orlac’s hands for without them he will not live. The surgeon decides to transplant the hands of a recently executed murderer named Vasseur. When Orlac learns this, the horror of having a murderer’s hands obsesses him.
When first shown in the 1920s it was deemed "Likely to endanger public order and safety" by the Ministry of the Interior of Saxony.
This score for full symphony orchestra, filled with creative mayhem, captures the light and shadow of the movie from its tragic start to it fast-moving climax.
ex. "This concert brought an incredible, modern, brand-new score, world-class musicians, and an intimate venue together in a night of music that I certainly won’t be one to let go of in the near future."