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In his American feature-film debut, Peter Lorre turns in one of his creepiest performances as a renowned plastic surgeon whose sadistic obsession with an actress drives him over the edge of sanity.
Dr. Gogol (Lorre) is in love with Yvonne Orlac (Frances Drake), an actress whose appearance in a Grand Guignol-like horror theater has mesmerized him. She quits the theater to travel with her concert pianist husband, Stephen (Colin Clive), enraging Gogol. But when Stephen’s hands are crushed in a train accident, Yvonne turns to Gogol as a last resort. Motivated by sadistic intentions, Gogol secretly replaces Stephen’s hands with those of a guillotined murderer, hoping that the operation will send Yvonne rushing into his arms as the murderer’s hands take on a life of their own. Mad Love is one of the most chilling horror stories ever put on screen, lending a macabre twist on themes of unrequited love and jealousy.