Hands of a Stranger (1962) - full transcript

A surgeon must graft new hands on a concert pianist to replace his badly mangled ones. However, after the operation, the pianist comes to believe that his new hands have a mind of their own, and are trying to force him to commit evil acts.

Keep passaging.

It's been
too long, Gil.

More adrenaline.

Cardiac needle.

Go ahead, Gil.

If you need
to practice.

It can't
always work, Gil.

There's got to be death
for everyone some time.


I've been watching you
for over three hours.

That's a long time
to take when you die.

It took nine months
on the other end.

As one dedicated man
to another

there are few questions
I wanna ask you.

That's right, local office
of bullets and bodies.

What can you
tell me?

Only that
a few ounces of lead

just destroyed 3,000 years
of medical research.

Please, doctor,
I saw your little outburst

of perfectionism
in there

and I'm sure you have
several million words

on the ideals and objectives
of medical science

but all I'd like to know
is what happened

so I can start
an accurate report.

The body will be in the morgue
tomorrow. Why bother me?

I find it valuable to get
as many details as possible

before minds
have become colored

by the calmness
and disinterest born of time.

It's the kind of attitude
that's raised me to lieutenant

made my wife and children
very proud of me.

There's nothing I can contribute
to your next promotion.

Oh, come now,

As assistant chief
of surgery

in a hospital
of this size

a man
of your age.

You must have
more than average ability

and powers
of observation.

There were three
38-caliber bullets.

- Weren't there?
- Yes.

What was the specific
cause of death?

Three bullets.

Yes, I see I shouldn't have
put it that way

in your present
state of mind.

Acute hemorrhage, complicated
by lung and spinal damage.

The bullet shattered ribs,
entering from the back

the lung

and exiting just to the right
of the sternum, alright?

Indicating a tight
little pattern of rapid fire

at a slight
upward angle.

Our murderer could have been
a short man standing

or any kind of
man sitting.

Would it be your habit
to sit on the curb

at 8:00 or 8:30
on a night this cold?


The fresh tire marks
we found do associate them.

I see you pinning
on captain's bars already.

Anything else?


Now, if you'll
excuse me.


Unusual considering
the extent of damage

but while we were
getting ready for surgery

Ken told me they almost
had to pry his hands

from the lamp post.

While I was operating
I noticed them too.

Powerful hands..

...yet sensitive
at the same time.

They never relaxed even while he
was still alive and unconscious.

Now, that's the type of thing
I might never have realized.

It could tell us
a great deal about him.


Amazing things
when you think about it.

A genius device
of flesh and bone

that can paint
a beautiful picture

control a scalpel,
press the trigger

'and perhaps
the delicately line pictures'

'on the tips
of those hands themselves'

'may tell me
all I want to know.'

- You were wonderful.
- Little sister approves?


I wasn't sure,
during that last encore.

Fifteen years of work,
practice, and hope

came into
complete focus.

I know that
tonight's the beginning.

There's nothing that
can't be done now.

Well, I wouldn't exactly
call you an amateur

during these
last six years.

But any minute now,
the thundering herd

is coming through that door
to lift you on their shoulders.

I still have to get
some details straight with you

about the New York concert
in recordings

before I make
that 12:30 plane.

Just a few minutes,

to let my ego feed
off the crowd.

Dina, I want you to go ahead
to the party with the others.

I'll join you soon as
George and I are through.

Mm. Lucky piano.

Lucky me.

I'm jealous
of you both, you know?

I want to be so much
to this magnificent man.

Wouldn't that be
a little like playing

the same composition
over and over?

Beautiful perhaps,
but monotonous.

You're not only brilliant,
you're obscene.

I'll forgive you
only if you promise to keep me

very close to you
all of this exciting night.

I want you to go ahead
to the party

with Dina
and the others.

George and I
have business first.

Oh, you're hard
to love sometimes.

Dina, I know all of this
makes you very happy

but, uh, when does
your life begin?

When do I trade in
my brother and his piano

on babies
and things?

like that.

When he doesn't need me
anymore, I guess.

I think
it's time.

He's old enough,
successful enough.

He certainly
always seems to have

plenty of women
around him.

a scandalous relationship

between me
and my brother?



...you see those soft
gray gloves he always wears

before and after
he plays?

Remember the time
you kidded him about them?

Said they were
a great publicity gimmick

and you wished
you'd thought of them first.

I think that's the only time
I ever saw him angry at you.

He needs
those gloves.

They protect his hands
from the cold

and they help keep his fingers
completely flexible

when he plays.

It may be

but it's a part of
his greatness with music.

a part of it.

You're his gray gloves
of the business world and..

And you're his gray gloves
against loneliness?

For the time being.

A great many women
love the dramatic concept

of Vernon Paris
at a Saturday night concert

and the parties
that go after.

It's amazing how few of them
are willing to wait

and fight through the hours
of practice and insecurity

that make each
Saturday night possible.

Dina, I don't think
he's that dedicated.

Oh, but he is.
You should know.

He's the most selfish man
in the world

when it comes
to his concept

of the creation
of beauty.

He pours
everything into it.

It's the source
of his greatness

and of
his loneliness.

Hey, you're the guy
on the billboard, aren't you?

What was that?

The poster
outside the theater.

You're the guy
with the piano.

That's right.

- Oh, my kid sure loves music.
- Really?

Yeah, he practices
all the time.

He'd really like
to meet you.

Well, bring him around
next time I'm here.

I'll have some
passes for him.

You're okay,
Mr. Paris.

Maybe sometime
you could even hear him play?


- How old is he?
- Ten.

Don't think
he's a sissy.

He's a best shortstop
on the school team.

I play the piano
and I don't think I'm a sissy.

You know
what I mean.

Yes, I know.

Ten-year-old boys
just don't usually.

It's something
his mother always wanted.

She died
four years ago.

And I found this teacher who'd
come give lessons at night.

It's a good time
for it too.


That's when you can start
thinkin' about a lot of things.

a lot of things.

'This piano and all
the practicing make it easier.'

Even the bad notes.

Music and people
go together.

Like kids and dogs.

And be sure you teach him
the creation of beauty.

you can never lose.

Once achieved,
it's with you all your life.

I think
he knows it already.

I only hope it makes him
amount to something

more than
his old man.

He's got
the fight too.

You tell him most people waste
time with meaningless fights.

The only real enemies
the world has

are the enemies
of beauty.

That's the only thing
he'll ever have to fight.

I never thought
about it like that.


Hey, I want you to see
a picture of my kid.

I've got it
right here.

Look out!

I don't see
any other way.

Get him ready.

What are you
going to do?

You're not supposed
to be in here.

Regulations be damned!
What are you going to do?

Mr. Britton.

You have
a right to know.

I'm going to amputate
what's left of his hands.

You're mad.
This man is Vernon Paris.

You can't
cut off his hands.

He no longer has anything left
that resembles hands.

You're wrong,
you've got to be wrong.

I was at the accident.
I saw them.

They were cut,
bleeding, bent, yes

but my God
they were still hands.

You're overlooking
a basic fact.

His gloves were on,
cut, torn, and blood-stained

but still with
a semblance of shape.

That's what
you saw.


You know

to do this
to a man like that

it'll be better just to drive
your scalpel through his heart.

Simpler for you

same result
for him.

Without his hands,
Vernon Paris will be dead.

Tell me,

what would your
reaction be if suddenly

you were to find yourself
without either one of these?

Yes, now let's pretend
they are your hands.

What would you do?

- Well, there's..
- 'Yes.'

There's only
one possibility.

The odds against success
are almost total.

Almost as opposed to something
that's already definite.

I wonder if we're thinking
the same thing.

It couldn't be
anything else

under the circumstances,
could it?

You've got to get
permission first.

'There's no time.'

Perhaps it was lucky
for all of us

that you were just behind him
at the crash.

We're going to try
something radical.

I don't know
if you're gonna like it.

It doesn't matter
as long as you save his hands.

Nothing will save them,
but he'll have hands.

Mechanical hands
are of no use to this man.

Don't you
understand that?


I said hands.

Some years ago, people
would have called you crazy

if you told them that you could
take part of one human eye

and place it in another.

Yet today a corneal transplant
is a standard operation.

It gives renewed sight.

Yes, I know,
but hands are different.

A different part
of the same human body.

Surgical scientists
in every country

all over the world are dedicated
to the future truth

that human life one day
might be extended indefinitely

by the replacement of
defective or worn-out parts.

Right now, such
a principle is the only one

that will save the musical
talent of your friend.

But, muscles, nerves,
how do you know th-

I've already told you,
we don't know.

Now, do we
go ahead or not?

You know,
I want you here.

I'm asking you
to stick your neck out.


I pulled you in
on a lot of operations.

Made you
watch and study.

Deliberately made you accept
a crash program of training

because you have the mind
and heart of a great surgeon.

I want you to
be ready sooner.

You'll have even more time
to save lives

and make
others better.

I'm grateful,

Don't be grateful.
Be good.

Pay closer attention
tonight than ever.

You have five years
on both Ross and me.

In your lifetime

this type of
an impossible in surgery

may become
a reality.

Later, you'll be making
the contributions.

Stand opposite to me
at the table.

- Gil.
- Yeah?

I don't think you're asking me
to stick my neck out.



I think you fully
expect us to work.

Keep him as close
to the surface as possible.

I want maximum response
in the muscles and nerves.

And now..


My God. Why?

What right have they got
to do a thing like that?

Not to Vernon,
not his hands.

Dina, you've got
to understand.

I understand
you're trying

to make me
believe a nightmare.

I can only tell you
that surgically

went as planned.

"Surgically everything
went as planned."

Dina Paris,
Dr. Harding.

I'm sorry we have to meet
under these circumstances.

I'm sorry we have
to meet at all.

I know how must feel
about his loss.

You pretend to understand
what a pair of hands

means to man
like my brother?

I think a surgeon
is aware of the importance

of the human hand
in all it's aspects.

Well, perhaps that's one
you've overlooked.

You think you understand
a human hand?

I'll teach you more than you
ever thought you knew about.

You're not a doctor!
You're a monster!

A selfish,
crazy monster!

I must be
having a nightmare.

I know I'll wake up,
I've got to.

I've transplanted
other hands, yes.

Done in order
to save his talent

not destroy it.

What I cut from
the ends of his arms

no longer
resembled hands.

It's a lie.

It's got to
be a lie.

You needed some kind
of a guinea pig

for your
insane experiment.

Miss Paris, what we did
in that operating room

just now could end
all our careers.

If you want vengeance,
you can have it very easily

because we didn't
get your approval.

But if you choose
that vengeance

you may set off a chain
of emotional reaction

in your brother
that'll guarantee failure.

Guarantee that he'll
never have hands.

You cannot
turn my brother

into some kind
of a freak two-headed dog

just for
the sake of science.

There is something
you have to see.

You can't do that.

I don't think
she'll understand

any other way.


I saw them
before the operation.



The genius
that flow

through these hands
is no more.

But his basic
genius remains.

With a great deal of luck,
will have made it possible

for him
to continue.

You must have faith.

Is it faith doctor

or just ego
as far as your

particular talents
is concerned?

Tonight, four people
did everything

in their power
to help your brother.

I appreciate your feeling
of personal tragedy

but I think you've wallowed in
it long enough at my expense.

Listen, doctor,
I realize you've been through

a great deal tonight,
but I don't think-

Well, I do think.

From now on,
the only thing that's

is the absolute cooperation

of everyone
involved in this man's life.

that will create the proper

recovery state
of mind for him.

Your attitude
is a very crude one, doctor.

Maybe we ought to
wait until-

No, George.

This man who's taken
such sudden control

of Vernon's life

I want to know
what he expects to do.

And I wanna know
whose hands

he put
on my brother's arms.

- Can you answer that?
- No, I can't.

There's no precedent
for what we've done.

No published catalogue
of spare parts

to choose from
at the local deep freeze.

Then you know nothing about
the other man at all.

Coincidence placed him
on that table

two hours before
your brother's accident.

He had powerful hands,
that's all we have to know.

That's all.

If you're concerned
with the possibility

that he might have been
some kind of mad man

let me assure you
that psychotic tendencies

don't transfer
themselves mystically

to the physical extremities
after death.

You know that
for a fact?

No. No, I don't.

I don't even know
about mother goose

or the weak people
in her clan.

You're right.

Guess, I was
cracking under it.

A personal loss
for us.

A terrible responsibility
for you.

We'll be back
in the morning.

The man has been

A complete check will be run,
I assure you.

When can we
see him?

Not for a weak.

He's under
heavy sedation

and additional
radiation treatments.

It's a critical period
for his body's acceptance

of the hands.

Can't we even
see him?

Trust me,
if you can.

And when you
do see him

it's vital
that he believe

he's only had simple
emergency surgery.

I've got to have
at least six weeks

before the final bandages
come off.

How long until
we really know?

It won't be long before
his body gives us the answer.

What we do as far as
his mind is concerned..

Well, he'll need
all of us for that.

You know,

I'm one of those
people who believes

that our department
renders a definite service

to the safety and welfare
of the community just as you do.

Now, I'm..

I'm sure you observe
certain regulations

and make your work
more, uh, orderly

more effective.
Am I not correct?


Well, now,
so do we.

For instance
when we have a homicide

to contend with
and, uh, we receive

a body
at the morgue.

We feel it's
reasonable to expect

that we'll
receive all of it.


Don't ask me why,
but I hold a feeling

of kinship and respect
for a man like you.

On the other hand,
I suspect you

of some
premeditated diddling

on the hill side.

Mind you, I've said
nothing about this

at the department
because I am sure you have

a totally
worthy explanation.

So, um..

...exactly what have
you done with those hands?

It's nice to know you're
sympathetic to my needs

but you know
this isn't enough.

What if I told you
it had to be enough?

For now.

Doctor, when
I was in college

one of my best friends
was a medical student

so, um, one night he stole
into the laboratory

and removed
part of a cadaver

which he
then utilized

to produce
a therapeutic effect

on a timorous young lady
at a beer party.

Surely, you have
progressed beyond this.

Inspector, let's pretend
it's the past.

Say two months prior
to the time this technique

of identification
was established.

Suppose you came to me
and you said that you were

on the verge
of a discovery

that will greatly advance
your profession.

And mankind
as a result.

Yet for
definite reasons

you needed
those last two months

in order
to prove it.

Would you expect me
to block you

or to interfere?

Mm, very good analogy.

I'm sorry
you thought of it.


It's fortunate for you
that I seem to sense

a certain quality
of honesty and greatness

otherwise I'd
pulled you in right now.

Will you go long with me
for that long?

For the promise you'll be given
the complete story

at the second
it's possible?

You have enough
on this chart

for a full
preliminary check.

Oh, you're complicating things
for me at the department.

I suppose I can create
an acceptable story.

I suppose I'm as idealistic
as you in many ways.

I'm sure my wife and children
would support me

in that
up to a point.

And for
everyone's sake..

...let's hope we don't
pass that point.

'This will be his first moment
of true consciousness.'

'Please let me handle

Guard your
reactions against

any indication
of seriousness.

Mr. Paris.

You have visitors.

'Mr. Paris?'

My hands.

You're going to be
perfectly alright.

What's happened
to my hands?

There was
a traffic accident.

Some of your fingers
were broken.

You're going
to be alright.


That fool driver..

Why are my hands
like this?

We knew who
you were.

What your hands
meant to you.

We've immobilized them
so the fingers

will mend perfectly.

I have to be
in New York.


I postponed them
until you're well again.

You will play again, Vernon.
You will.

Dina, don't
lie to me.

I'm not lying,

Dr. Harding
did a beautiful job.

Your hands
will be perfect.


"Perfect," Dr. Harding,
in your terms or in mine?

In yours.

In just a few weeks,
you'll have

full flexibility


Why did it have
to happen to my hands?

You're lucky
it was only this.

'Glass was shattered
from every window of the cab.'

You can see to play

and you will play.

'All you need
is that belief.'

'And some patience.'

Not very aesthetic,
is it, George?

Might make an unusual shot
for our next poster.

You're going
to be alright, Vernon.

Does Eileen
know about this?

- I don't know.
- Thank you.

But she was
at the party.

Isn't that where
they notified you?


Well, it's alright.

My little
dramatic butterfly

wouldn't like it
here very much.

No bright lights.

Mink stoles.

You don't serve

do you, doctor?

Not for the time being.

Well, I guess
she'll be around again

when things aren't
so stark and sterile.

It'll be a month before
we can remove the bandages.

You can go home
in a weak.

I think you'll be
more comfortable there.


Where I can stare
at the piano.

Wonder how long
it's going to be

and how good
it'll ever be again.

So you can
stare at it.

Remind yourself
to be patient.

To fight for something
that's important..

...and beautiful.

Look at that.

Perfect fusion
on both.

- You've done it, Gil.
- Not yet.

All we know is that his body's
accepted the hands.

We don't know how
they're going to function.

But nobody's even gotten
this far before.

You realize
what that means?

It only means
we've taken a step, Ken

that's not enough.

Not enough?

Gil, even if
the rest fails

if the nerve and muscle
connections don't work-

It must work.

But you can't hope
for too much.

Why not?

It's the only way
we have the courage

to take
the next step

and the next.

Oh, when
will we know?

That's why I've
called you in here.

I've waited longer
than I planned to be sure.


I'm going over
to remove the bandages

and make the first
reflex test.

I want you
all there because

you helped
make it possible.

Also, I think he'll need
all the moral support

we can give him.

This may not be pleasant
so if any of you

don't want to come,
say so.




Did I ever tell you
I couldn't stand

the sight of blood?

Let's see if our dream's
a realistic one.

If it's possible to recreate
beauty out of chaos.

Dina, push the lamp
back a little.

We don't need
that much.

Hope you don't mind
an audience.

Ross, Ken and Holly
all helped

the night
of the accident.

I'm used to

Glad to have one again
after so long.

These weeks of waiting
haven't been easy

but if it ends well,
I'll be grateful to all of you.

You're ready?

After seven weeks?
Yes, I'm ready.

You must do
one thing for me.

I ask you
not to question it.

I want you to
close your eyes

and keep them closed

until I tell you.

That shouldn't
be so hard.

'Only a few more minutes
after seven weeks.'

Apparently, dramatics
aren't limited to the stage.

Keep your hands
flat on the table.

Now, I'm gonna touch
the fingers of your hand.

Each time when
you feel the touch

I want you to move
that finger.

Before you open your eyes
I'm going to tell you one thing.

I want you to remember it.
It's vital that you do.

Are you trying to ease me
into acceptance

of a failure,

What we've done for you
surpasses my hopes.

But the success of every surgery
depends on two things.

Medical skill, and acceptance
on the part of the patient.

Are these your usual terms
for such a thing

as simple as
broken fingers?

- I don't think so.
- 'Keep your eyes closed.'

The response in your fingers
is 80 percent correct.

The rest will return,
but it's going to take practice

on your part.

'You were right
about one thing.'

'It was more than
just...broken fingers.'

But the thing
that you've got to believe

is that we've been successful.
Because we have.

'During these weeks
of waiting'

'you told me about
your absolute belief'

'in music and beauty.'

'When you open your eyes
you're going to see something'

'that will demand a great deal
of the sensitivity'

'courage and creative thinking'

'you have as an artist.'


...open your eyes.

What have you done
to my hands?

They were terribly mangled
in the accident.

- We've made it possible-
- What have you done?

We've made it possible for you
to have perfectly good hands.

These aren't my hands.

What have you done?

We've given you hands

while you had none.

When you arrived
at the hospital

we were faced
with the tragedy.

We didn't accept that.

We fought to
restore the beauty

that was
so important to you.

And we did.

They're strong normal hands.

And your body
has accepted it.

'Now, you must accept them,
and fight.'

- Why? Why?
- Because it is.

What have you done
with my hands?

What you brought
to the hospital

were no longer hands.

Stand up.

Take hold
of my arm.

Take hold
of my arm!

Both hands!

Grip it.
As hard as you can.

The fact that
you can even do that

the muscles work.

Can you feel my arm?

'That proves the nerves
are functioning.'

'Muscles and nerves,
that's all you need.'

'These hands are new,
but your talent isn't.'

'What happened to you
seven weeks ago was cruel.'

'What I'm doing
to you now is cruel.'

'But what we did
in that operating room wasn't.'

'Now, you can accept
or you can quit.'

It's up to you.

Get out.

- Vernon, we-
- All of you.

exercise, belief.

There's every chance
in the world.

Every chance..

...that beauty
can once more be created

by your surgical freak.

- It can.
- You're right, doctor.

You were cruel
just now.

But your bluntness
has restored reality for me.

I'm just not sure
how long it can remain.

I suggest
you leave now.

Tomorrow we'll talk
about that reality.

I'll be back,

- Dina..
- I know, George.

Thank you,

Let him have his anger
and torment for now.

I think he'll be
strong enough later

to accept
the fight.

His finger reactions
weren't even right.

- Yes, they were.
- But when you touched-

I touched the fingers on
each hand in sequence at first.

Then I deliberately
changed the sequence.

The finger that reacted
was the one he thought

should react next.

Then I went back and touched
the finger and it moved.

It's simply a matter
of mental coordination

on his part.

Seems so much
to expect.

Dina what we've done
has never been done before.

It's a triumph
for us.

But it's got to be
one for him too.

I think I'd better
move in here for a while.

He'll need you.

I wonder if there'll ever
be a day when he doesn't.

I know how hard it is
for you to accept.

But do you realize
what Gil has done for you?

Yes, he made them
come true.

Those dreams I've had
through the years

about something
happening to my hands.

Gil's genius
has made it possible

for your talent
to continue.

He's genius with a knife
in the human body

has put on my arms the hands
of some man I don't even know.

Is that important
if you can play again?


It's important my sanity
could even accept

that these
aren't mine.

His genius has given me
hands to feel with.

But can he guarantee
these stolen chunks of flesh

and bones
will ever be..

These are your hands.

'Now, it's up to you
to make them sing'

'in the future
as they did in the past.'

It's you
who control your hands.

Don't you

I was my hands,
they were my life.

Now, I'm carrying the life
of someone I know nothing about!

Then you must
learn again!

Or you will
have no life.

Why me?

Why couldn't this have happen
to that cab driver

who doesn't need
his hand so much?

I only know from Gil
that the man suffered too.

His life may not
be as delicate

or as complex
as yours..

...but I'm sure
he'll fight to maintain it.

Leave me alone.

I'm going to stay here
for a while.

I'll be back as soon as I get
some things from my apartment.

Please be patient.

Why, you're a half-hour..

Why, Vernon,
what a pleasant surprise.

I wanna talk to you.

I can't right now.

It's important.

Alright, but I only
have a few minutes.

You always did have
a talent for creating

the proper
visual mood.

This is no concern
of yours.

since our relationship

is primarily
a social one.

What does that mean?

It must be
if you haven't been

interested enough
to see me

during these
past weeks.

I called the hospital
the following day

left my sympathies.

Very generous of you.

Vernon, I'm very sorry
about your accident, but-

Pain isn't
a desirable substitute

for laughter
and excitement, is it?

Vernon, I've had
a great many things to do.

I'm also expecting a guest
within a half hour-

- A guest?
- You don't own me, Vernon!

I know!

- But now I need you.
- How interesting.

Well, there were times
when I needed you.

your favorite line?

"That would be too much
like playing

"a great composition
over and over.

You had to play many in order
to live and grow as an artist."

a difference now.

Look, I, I can't explain
everything right away

but my life has changed.
You've got to understand.

Vernon, if one of your other
women has put you in your place

I don't see any reason
to come crying to me.

That's not it!
Yes, there were others!

There were others for you too,
I don't think either of us

had any illusions
about that!

But for me you were always
the most important

the loveliest.

In the back of my mind maybe
I always thought someday..

Vernon, neither of us
ever thought that someday.

You were always a very exciting,
very desirable man.

But this attitude on you now,
this heaviness

I don't like it
at all.

I'll be very happy
to see you on the old basis

but right now
I'd wish you'd go.

What if the old basis
has been changed

by something
I can do nothing about.

I don't like you this way
and I don't like riddles.

What if there won't be any
concerts or parties?

- What if there'll only be me?
- Stop it, Vernon.

I've never seen you this way
and I don't want you this way.

- What if there'll only be me?
- Stop it! Stop it!

- Answer me!
- Let me go.

Your hands
are breaking my arms!

- Your hands!
- Yes, my hands.

The hands that brought you
concerts parties,


That's what happened
when you called

to leave
your sympathies.

My hands that
you knew so well.


They don't look like my hands,
do they? They're not.

My hands
were destroyed

the night of
my greatest concert.

But medical science
gave me a new pair of hands.

Hands from another body,
so that I can play again.

Yes, Eileen,
I may play again.

But I may not.
What if there'll only be me?

What will you do
if I need your help now

more than
I need your beauty?

Don't touch..

Why don't you take off?
You too, Holly.

Kenny can handle
emergency tonight.

Oh, sure. And when do I get
a chance to get married?

I have a girl
who's pretty fed up already.

Who ever heard of young doctors
getting married?

You have to be
middle aged before

you can afford
to be married.

Yeah, I see
what you mean.

Come on, junior,
I have a new trick

I wanna show you
with the scalpel.

You know,
I've got a boyfriend

who's the greatest guy
in the world, but..

Holly, never get interested
in a dedicated man.

May look good
on the surface

but you can
always end up second

no matter how much
he feels for you.

Thanks, Gil,
for putting it the nice way.

She's a lucky girl.

I know this must make me look
pretty much like a snoop

but, uh, I'm sure
you understand

it's part
of my job.

I also understand
we made a bargain.

With the time factor
that was up a week ago.

You see, I'm not
without patience.

The main point was
I give you the complete story

as soon as
it was possible.

You implied you'd
trust my judgment.

Yes, I remember
but there's a problem.

I have somewhat
of a neurotic respect

for perfection
in my work.

I don't like to see
assignments go unsolved.

Although, I recognize
there's no set schedule

for this solution.

the fingerprint you gave me

have been thoroughly checked
and they gave me nothing.

And you think
I gave you a false set?

You're not
that kind of a man.

We're in the process of checking
them through foreign bureaus

but, uh, while
we're waiting

I thought there
might be something new

you could offer
to keep my mind at peace.

There's nothing
I can tell you yet.

There's a human factor
that's involved.

It's critical.

Trust me
a while longer.

- Very well.
- Thanks.


In the meantime..

...please remember
my wife and children.

When I got back
last night

he was sitting
at the piano dazed.

He didn't say
a word all night.

I don't think
he went to sleep either.

And then in the morning
came the tragic news

of the death of a woman
who was very important to him.

He was
more depressed.

- When did he leave?
- Late this morning.

He said
he wanted to be alone.

I, I wanted to go
with him, but..

...he was cruel
in the way he rejected me.

I'm frightened.

Don't be

It's natural
in the beginning.

He's got to feel
sorry for himself.

Hate everyone and everything
that caused this.

He'll be back.

I hope you're right.

In the meantime, I think
this separation is good for us.

Let's have dinner.
We've never done that.

I know a little place
with violins not far from here.

We'll be back early.

Does Tony Wilder
live here?

Yes, sir.

- Is he in?
- No, sir.

But he'll be back
in a little while.

He went to
get somethin'. A dog.

Isn't that great?

I'm an old friend of his
used to ride in his cab

all the time.

I wanna talk to him.

I really shouldn't
let you in, but..

...I guess you look okay.

You like dogs?

Come on in.

You ever
had a dog?

Hey, mister,
you ever had a dog?

Yes, a long time ago.

When you were
a kid like me, huh?

You got a piano
once too?

Were you
any good?

I'm good too.

Want me to
play for you?

Oh, I'm not bad.

I like to play.

Dad never has
to make me.

You know a lot
about the piano?

I- I'll play a real great tune
I just learned.

It'll make you
feel better

you don't look so hot.

Not right now.

Oh, come on.
I like to play for people.

Helps me
not to be nervous.

I'll make
you a deal.

If you don't like it
I'll quit, okay?

And they were both killed
when we were very small.

We ended up with relatives
who resented the obligation.

So more or less
we banded together

for emotional survival.

You both had a great desire
for life even then.

- That's important for him now.
- Perhaps.

But I think we became too close
as a result, too dependent.

I had talent too

but his was greater.

I used my talent
to help him.

The whole thing
was a calculated plan

to bring us independence
and freedom.

And now just when
we were both

reaching a point
when we could be truly free..

Dina, nothing's
going to be wasted.

Don't you see,
by going through this

he can become
part of a new

and even greater
kind of beauty.

Maybe that's a lot
to imagine right now

but eventually
there can be no such thing

as a permanently
defective heart

a permanent cripple

a permanent
birth malformation, blindness.

Oh, they'll always be
accidental deaths.

But from these tragedies
science will be able to sustain

and recreate joy
for the living.

'And when people know that
a worn out or defective part'

'of their body can be replaced,
they'll approach life itself'

with a great deal
less fear.

Three thousand years
of research, Dina.

And we're
just beginning.

This is
the next major step

and he's
the key part of it.

If it had to happen..

...I thank God
we found you.

- Gil, whose hands are they?
- We don't know yet.

But they're strong,
normal hands.

They might be hands from someone
even more talented than Vernon.

But they could be
from someone-

Don't let fear
drive you

into a pit of

But are we sure
the soul

really controls
the outside?

Or as what
we call a soul

really shaped
by our own pleasures

or hatreds
with the outside

and how they're accepted
by the world?

If you love beauty
you'll conquer handicaps

so beauty can live.

And if you don't?

Well, mister,
how did you like it?


You play
very well.

You mean it?

You could be good,
very good if you practice.

Did you practice a lot
when you were a kid?

Yes, I practiced a lot
when I was like you.

But I can't remember many things
about being ten years old.

Yes, I can.

Are you still
any good?

I don't know.

Come on and try.

I wanna hear
you play now.

First you gotta take
your gloves off.

Whoever heard
of playing the piano

with their gloves on?

- I can't take them off.
- Sure you can.

You put them on,
didn't you?

Gee, mister,
you got strong hands.

Maybe someday
I'll have hands like that

so I can play
a lot easier.

Come on.

Gee, mister, it must've
been a long time

'cause you sure
can't play now.

How can you play the piano
if you can't even hit the cords?

Don't say that.
I can play.

I will play again.

Music is my life!

You mustn't say I can't!
I will play!

I've never known
anything else.

That's why
I'll play again.

I must play again.

You see that,
don't you?


'I'm home, Skeet.'

Easy, boy. Easy.

I know it's strange.
You'll get used to it.


Skeet! Skeet!

where are you?

Well, this time I don't think
we'll have to be as critical.

You can open them.

It's working,

It's all working.

Should I say congratulations
again, doctor?

To yourself
for your patience.

Every finger response
was correct.

'Timing was a little slow,
but with this much progress'

'this soon,
there's no reason why'

full dexterity
can't return.

All you need now
is a strong incentive.

But it's something
you've had for a long time.

Yes, doctor.

I think I'll enlarge
on your exercises

to include
the piano.



It's wonderful,
Mr. Paris.


I want you and Dina to have
dinner with me tonight.

Go someplace where we can laugh
for a change. How about it?

It's time to see again
what the outside world

and smiling faces
look like.

How about it?

Yes, sir, a beautiful throw.
A beautiful throw.

Here's a smiling little doll
to take home with you

to remind you
of your shining hour.

You take that thing home
and you're gonna be the one

that has to
dust it.

Test this
game of skill.

Win yourself
a beautiful prize

of a tryout
with the LA Dodgers.

Oh, a warm-up pinch.
Only a warm-up pitch.

Even the greatest
need that.

Try again.

Hey, what are you?
Some kind of a nut makin' fun?

- That'll be 20 bucks, buddy.
- I'm sorry.

Forget the sorry.
I said 20 bucks, buddy.

And if you don't know
how to use your hands

stay away from here.

- I'm gonna call the cop!
- Okay, wait a minute.

Here's more than enough
to take care of the damage.

Alright, but I'm still
gonna call the cop.

That guy is
some kind of a nut!

here's more.

Please forget it.
He's a patient of mine.

He's been through
quite enough as it is.

Give him a break.


But if you can't
handle him, buddy

we got a place right down
the street that specializes

in freaks.

Vernon, you know
how proud I am of you.

The new attitude you've had
since Gil returned.

- Are you?
- Very.

Remember the night
the three of us

went out

I remember.

It started then,
didn't it?

I think it started
a long time before that.

Gil's proud of you too.

I told him you've been
practicing everyday since then.

You don't know
how important it is to him

that he used his skill
to bring you a new life.

Yes. They all brought me
a new life.

And for me,
I, I think you know

how I've come
to feel about Gil.

I want you to
be happy for that too.

I'm very glad that you've come
to mean so much to each other.

Why won't you let me stay
on nights that you practice?

Oh, you know me
at my best

I want you to hear me
that way the next time.

Besides, you haven't
regretted all the time

you've been able to spend
with him, have you?

I'll wait.

What time you'll
be back tonight?

11:00 or 12:00.
Just dinner and a conversation.

Have a good time.

Hey, don't you
wanna marry me?

- Yeah.
- Yeah.


A year so,

I can't ask you to live on
what I'm making now.

- I can't even live on it.
- I wouldn't mind working.

I've done it before.

We might have to if we get
married in a year or so.

Then why
not now?

It's just
too rough.

You're too intent
on your work.

I admit it.

It's the future, Sue,
and I've got a chance

to be a part of
something wonderful.


I guess
I'm selfish

because I want to be
a right kind of future.

For my work
and for us.

- Don't you understand?
- You know I do.

It's just that I wish there
could be more time for us.

I'm not gonna stop
loving you, Ken.

It's.. It's just that
the night's get lonely out.

It can't be.

Gil, can it?

It must be
a record.

He never bought
any of his own records.

He was always afraid of becoming
a mechanical copy of himself.

I know his style
so well.

I don't know,
it may be possible

if he's really been practicing
and exercising the way you said.

It's-it's one of his
more simple pieces.

Gil, it must be.

Oh, Vernon,
was that you playing?

Oh, I'm sorry
you heard.

I wanted it to be
when I was a little better.

Oh, it sounded

Well, it's the only one
I've worked on.

It's taken me
all these weeks.

What does the man who made it
all possible have to say?

I'm, I'm surprised-

But you told me yourself
there was no reason

why it shouldn't happen,
with exercise practice.

Yes, I know.

But I didn't expect
this much dexterity this soon.

Not even when the incentive
or desire to create beauty

is strong enough?

You did your work well, doctor.
Now I'm doing mine.

If it's true,
there's no one outside you two

who could be happier
than I am.

Then smile,

Get rid of that troubled
questioning look.

Help us rejoice in the success
of our mutual triumph.

I know what
I have to do now.

play for us.

It's been very hard to
get this far

and I think even
the doctor will tell you

that it's natural to expect
fatigue to set in easily.

make it soon.

It will be.

Understand one thing.

I wanna believe.

Then do it,

Do it because you too
have the incentive.


Well, I'm sorry. I know he was
a close associate of yours.

Did you know
the girl, too?

Tragedies of this kind
are always senseless

but I'm afraid
I have to press you

about the significance
behind it.

How can there be any
significance to waste?

Sometime ago I read a routine
report about a death

that occurred
in the suburbs.

The man came home
and found his son dead.

Apparently as the result
of a burglar

who was discovered
and panicked.

The unusual thing was that most
of the boys fingers were broken.

Possibly was the result
of a fight

except that the fingers
were all squeezed together

as if they'd
been crushed.

The man was an ex-cab driver
named Wilder.

Can you raise the sheet
farther this time

and look
at your friend's hands?

Done with a bookend.

If you're thinking it might have
been a burglar, forget it.

It was calculated, the bookend
was placed in the girl's hand

to make it look as if
she defended herself

a sex attack.

Then you have
your answer.

That's rather difficult
to believe

since the girl was
choked to death.

The series of tragedies with one
thing in common, a human hand.

The same thing that brought us
together, doctor.

- It's ridiculous to assume.
- Is it?

Perhaps if anybody else, but
your friend had been involved.

This is the kind of
coincidence that forces me

to become
less patient.

I think I know now
what's happened.

If I'm correct

it's an amazing
piece of surgery, doctor.

Under the circumstances I must
insist you meet me at my office

within a half-hour.

I, uh..

I hope I'm wrong. I hope
this is pure coincidence.

Otherwise it means you failed
to control an experiment

that could have been
of great value.


...both of our objectives
are the same.

I think you know
why I wanted you to be

the first
to hear me play.

Vernon, I've
never been so happy.

You won't mind
if it's the same piece?

I wouldn't care if it was
the scale of seeing one octave.

Just to know
you'll play again.

Even though
I can't play

I'm still
nervous about..

...about these hands.

all my concentration.

Would you mind sitting in
the other room just this once?

I'd listen to you from
the other end of the world

if it would help
make you great again.

Dina, I want you to remember
just one thing.

Tonight, I'll play
my greatest concert.

I need you to help
make it complete.

I'll remember.

Now what do I do?

the very thing I created?

Help him. Any jury will
call it insanity.

With proper treatment,
he can be brought back.

And Ken...can I?

Gil, I was almost
as close to Ken as you were.

But even his sacrifice
can't stop our work, it mustn't.

How stupid I was.

What he said about incentive..
Oh, yes, he had one, alright.

Vengeance on everyone
he thought destroyed his ability

to create music.

The driver, Ken.

I think we can take care
of ourselves.

- Dina. She's with him.
- He won't hurt her.

She's on his side.
We're the enemies.

With a maniac
as shrewd as he's become

I won't take
that chance.

- I'm coming too.
- No, you're involved enough.

'Go home to your security.'

Try to figure out
why it's so hard

to fight
for men like me.

And don't make
the same mistakes.

- Are you sure about this?
- It must be.

He made a special point
about it.

"Tonight, I'll play
my greatest concert."

- Dina, I..
- Oh, I don't blame you, Gil.

How can you blame
anybody for this?

I just feel numb.

For all the loneliness
and misery

he must be
feeling inside.

Thank you for remembering
what I said, Dina.

I was sure I could depend
on the audience.

Very important part
of the concert.

Yes, I'm going to
play for you, doctor.

I'm used to a great deal of
applause after my concerts.

And what could be more
desirable than applause

from the man
who made it all possible?

There were others
almost as much a part of it

as you who
should be here.

But I don't think
we'd find their applause

very enthusiastic.

Now...I did manage

to convince
one of them though.

We had a long chat
on the way down here.

It turns out he was
very partial of the music

and my future ability.

The only trouble was
he didn't mean it.

He was only
trying to trick me.

'Why, Vernon?'

It was only
a matter of time

before you would have
played again.

Time! Time to cut off
these hands and give me others.

And others
if those don't work.

I guess the doctor has all the
time he needs in his laboratory.

He can do anything,
except give me back my life.

- He tried to save that life!
- He failed!

How do you know yet?

- Shall I show you?
- It's too soon.

I said I was going to
play for you.

I am, now.

I want you beside me, Dina,
because you were always there

in the past.

You can't
go out there.

- He still needs me.
- It's a trick!

I might be able to humor him.
Still save him, I've got to.

It's too much of a chance,
you can't do it.

Then take a gun and go out there
and shoot him now!

Listen, behold the wonders
of medical science

and your kind doctor.

Your triumph, doctor,
and now mine.

Let her go.

Go on back,
we'll be alright.

The talented Dr. Harding,
still in charge.

You're right
about one thing.

I'm not responsible
for the loss of your hands.

But I am for this.

Like your friend
you imagine yourself

a clever psychologist.

It won't work,

You're interested
in nothing but vengeance?

Beauty is no longer
important to you!

On the contrary

justice is a form of
moral beauty.

Or is that
too unscientific?

I did everything
I could surgically.

And your body's
accepted it.

Beyond that
I know I failed you.

Your mind couldn't accept.

That's very beautiful.

What a shame it's only meant to
throw me off guard.

What do you want?

I want you to take another look
at your work.

Just for this moment I want to
share this triumph with you.

Have you found out
whose hands they are?

Not yet.

Does it make
any difference?

I think you know
we'll have to talk sooner.

And maybe you'll be able to
tell me if we have the right to

push ahead so fast..

...even when
we believe.

Men like you
who aren't afraid to grow

they'll always
be the right.