MAD LOVE (1935) B/W 68m dir: Karl Freund
w/Peter Lorre, Frances Drake, Colin Clive, Ted Healy, Sarah Padden
A mad doctor operates on a pianist mutilated in an accident, grafting the hands of a murderer to his arms. Lorre's first appearance in a Hollywood film.
This atmospheric expressionistic thriller was directed by Karl Freund, one of the greatest lighting cameramen ever. Freund was "... a master of shadow and movement, and the favourite photographer of F.W. Murnau, for whom he shot ... The Last Laugh .... " (David Thomson's A Biographical Dictionary of Film is the source of all quotes in FilmFrog's review of this film.) Freund was the cameraman on many other "silent" films, including Fritz Lang's METROPOLIS and Paul Wegener and Carl Boese's DER GOLEM. In 1930 he emigrated to America, "thus forming one of the most interesting links between German expressionism and the American horror film. For he photographed two of the best early sound horror films at Universal: Dracula (31, Tod Browning) and Murders in the Rue Morgue (32, Robert Florey)...." After directing a handful of films in the early 1930s (including THE MUMMY (1932) and, of course, MAD LOVE), Freund went back to cinematography and exhibited stunning and varied work in such films as CAMILLE (1937), THE GOOD EARTH (1937), and KEY LARGO (1948). He ended his career by working with the great TV clown, Lucille Ball, as director of photography on the vast majority of the episodes of her classic series, I Love Lucy. (Lucy is famous for pioneering the 3-camera method of shooting sitcoms.)
David Thomson says of MAD LOVE: "... with Gregg Toland as one of its photographers, it clearly influenced Welles in some details of [Citizen ] Kane ."