The Hands of Orlac (1960)

France, UK,
95m, 105m
35mm, black and white

A British horror film directed by Edmond T. Gréville.

Plot Summary

Pianist Stephen Orlac loses his hands in a near fatal plane crash. Professor Volchett, a talented surgeon, is called in by Orloff's wealthy fiancée Louise to sew new hands onto his wrists. But Orlac becomes convinced that the hands belonged to an executed strangler and that, somehow, they're beginning to take him over. Driven half mad, Orlac takes up with Nero, a sinister illusionist who tries to blackmail the anguished musician.


Directed by: Edmond T. Gréville
© Pendennis Films Ltd MCMLX [1960]
Britannia Films present a Pendennis Films production. Distributed by British Lion Films Ltd in association with Britannia Film Distributors Ltd
Produced by: Stephen Pallos and Donald Taylor
Screenplay by: John Baines and Edmond T. Gréville
Additional Dialogue by: Donald Taylor
Based on the novel ‘The Hands of Orlac' by Maurice Renard
Director of Photography: Desmond Dickinson
Editor: Oswald Hafenrichter
Original Music Composed and Conducted by: Claude Bolling
Sound: Buster Ambler, Bob Jones
Wardrobe: Jackie Breed
Make-up: Stewart Freeborn
Hairdresser: Barbara Barnard
Art Director: John Blezard

Mel Ferrer (Stephen Orlac)
Christopher Lee (Nero)
Dany Carrel (Li-Lang)
Lucile Saint-Simon (Louise [Cochrane Orlac])
Felix Aylmer (Doctor [Francis] Cochrane)
Basil Sydney (Maurice Seidelman)
Peter Reynolds (Felix)
Campbell Singer (Inspector Henderson)
Sir Donald Wolfit (Professor Volcheff)
Donald Pleasence ([Graham] Coates)
Yanilou (Emilie)
David Peel (pilot)
Anita Sharp Bolster (Volcheff's assistant)
Edouard Hemme (Auge)
Mireille Perrey (Madame Aliberti)
Arnold Diamond (dresser)
Janina Faye (child)
Manning Wilson (Inspector Jagger)
Walter Randall (waiter)
Gertan Klauber (fairground attendant)

Alternative Titles

Hands of a Strangler
Hands of the Strangler
Les Mains d'Orlac – French version title

See also
Les Mains d'Orlac (1961) – French language version

Remake of
Orlacs Hände (1924)
Mad Love (1935)



  • The Dark Side no.211 (2020) pp.14-23 – illustrated article (Dracula and other vampires by Allan Bryce)
  • Kine Weekly vol.518 no.2753 (7 July 1960) pp.16-17 – note (Production by Graham Clarke)


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.131 – illustrated credits, review
  • Classic Horror Films and the Literature That Inspired Them by Ron Backer p.175 (note)
  • Feature Films, 1960-1969: A Filmography of English-language and Major Foreign-language United States Releases by Harris M. Lentz III p.186
  • Kinematograph and Television Year Book 1963 p.118 – credits (Films trade shown 1961-1962)
  • by Walt Lee p.192 – credits
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester p.320
  • Sixties Shockers by Mark Clark and Bryan Senn pp.201-202 *
  • Unsung Horrors by Eric McNaughton & Darrell Buxton (eds) pp.376-377 – illustrated review (by Kevin Nickelson)
  • X-Cert: The British Independent Horror Film: 1951-1970 by John Hamilton pp.91-96; 225-226