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Stephen Orlac is a famous pianist universally known. After a London recital, while he returns to Paris to join his fiancee Louise, his plane crushes on the Bourget airport because of the intense fog that rules over. Orlac is quickly driven to the Hospital. His hands are lost. In a last hope, he is taken in charge by the Professor Volcheff, a real specialist who grafts him the hands of a strangler condemned to guillotines it the evening; Pierre Vasseur.
Louise and Stephen have some rest
Six month after the operation, Stephen have great difficults to retreive his pianist sensations. He has the strange feelings that his hands do not obey him. Taken depresses, Louise proposes him some rest days in their house on the Côte d'Azur. But the events drive the musician to become mad and he escapes some days to Marseille in a little low quarters hotel.
A couple of schemers looking for easy fortuna
There, he meets a couple of schemers working in the show-business in search of easy fortune. He, Néron is a magician. She, Li-Ming, is a cabaret dancer and his assistant. Néron understands rapidly that the man and the famous rich pianist make only one. He undertakes a terrible plot that has to destabilize the man so as to make him loose the head to get the best profits.
Who plays? Orlac or Vasseur?
Néron works hard to make believe Stephen that the hands he possesses betray him and only breathe by Vasseur's will, the killer guillotined one year ago. Nevertheless while the musician thinks to have finished with this idea, he is once more trapped when he receives a pair of gloves named of the murderer. Losing all his means and only seeing killer's hands at the end of his arms, he shortens his recital so waited since his absence of the scene.
Day after day, and week after week, the couple Néron and Li-Ming is going to unleash to disturb the pianist to madness. The long plot is finally going to pay. Stephen believes that Louise and her uncle, Cochrane, the Doctor in psychiatry, try to intern him, thinking he is mad...
Stephen Orlac does not bear his hands any more
Spoiler ! the end of the story is revealed below…
But fortunately Louise understands the situation and visits Li-Ming. Unmasked, this one explains her that she had no other choice that to act thus. Néron is an dangerous maniac who processes the affair with more infatuation than a game. She risks her life if she does not obey him. Louise contacts Scotland Yard so as to make arrest the crook. Unfortunately for the poor acrobat, she becomes Néron's victim who does not hesitate to traffic his magician equipments to kill her during a show.
Li-Ming, victim of the crook
For Stephen, his love will finally be greater, allowing to avoid the worse. On the point to strangle Louise, he saves her in the last moment and leave to revenge. All finishes well when the police stops the murderer and announces with joy that Vasseur, the Parisian strangler whose hands belong henceforth to Orlac have been cleared. The badly condemned man was not the murderer.