Body Parts

01/01/1991View on timeline


Body Parts (1991), based on Boileau-Narcejac’s novel Choice Cuts (...Et mon tout est un homme, 1965), seems to realize Orlac’s fears.


A female surgeon grafts onto different bodies the head, legs, and arms of an executed murderer called Fletcher. The legs and arms turn out to be autonomous. Their present owners display various asocial behaviors, and a painter of corny landscapes becomes successful creating violent scenes; they also have memory flashes of Fletcher’s crimes. The character with the murderer’s head manages to recover one arm and the legs before having his neck broken by the recipient of the other arm. Given that after the head dies, the memory flashes cease and the surviving patient regains control of the grafted arm, the scenario depends on Fletcher’s brain, not on body parts that would autonomously function as loci of personhood. Neither the heart nor the hands ever reach the status of the brain in the making of personal identity.

Vidal, Fernando and Ortega, Francisco. Being Brains: Making the Cerebral Subject (Forms of Living)....

Movie poster
Photo by Vista Street Entertainment. ©1991

Body Parts in IMDb

Body Parts Trailer (1991)

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Published in 8/03/2019

Updated in 19/02/2021

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