Day 20, No. 20. Dr. Gogol

Mad LoveHAIRCUT 100: Day 20, No. 20. Peter Lorre as Dr. Gogol in Karl Freund’s Mad Love (1935): scientist, surgeon and sadistic madmen. One of the great gothic villains of the 1930s, often overshadowed by the Universal Studio monsters, Frankenstein, Dracula, the Werewolf, and the Mummy (Mad Love was an MGM production). Lorre and Freund were both German Jews, and were responsible, along with Conrad Veidt, Paul Leni and Fritz Lang, for bringing Expressionism to Hollywood. Night after night, Gogol lusts after the lovely Yvonne Orlac, an actress at the Théâtre des Horreurs in Paris, but she is married to concert pianist Stephen. When Stephen loses his hands in a rail disaster, Gogol performs an audacious transplant, but Stephen’s new hands seem to possess a will of their own, a murderous will. At the Inn of the Three Feathers, Stephen meets the donor, the executed killer Rollo the Knife-thrower; but it is Gogol in disguise, bent on driving Stephen mad and winning Yvonne for his own: ‘They cut off my head,’ he rasps, ‘but Gogol put it back!’

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