Donovan's Brain

Overview

Felix E. Feist directed this second adaptation of the novel by Curt Siodmak (filmed previously in 1944 as The Lady and the Monster and later in 1963 as The Brain), which tells the story of a brilliant brain specialist (Lew Ayres) whose attempts to save the life of an accident victim result in the extraction of the dying patient's brain, kept alive via electrodes and a special solution. Before long, the disembodied gray-matter -- which previously belonged to sinister, wealthy industrialist Donovan -- begins to ...
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Overview

Felix E. Feist directed this second adaptation of the novel by Curt Siodmak (filmed previously in 1944 as The Lady and the Monster and later in 1963 as The Brain), which tells the story of a brilliant brain specialist (Lew Ayres) whose attempts to save the life of an accident victim result in the extraction of the dying patient's brain, kept alive via electrodes and a special solution. Before long, the disembodied gray-matter -- which previously belonged to sinister, wealthy industrialist Donovan -- begins to exert a supernatural influence over the doctor, until the once-kindly scientist begins taking on Donovan's aggressive, paranoid personality traits and is compelled to carry out the brain's nefarious commands. This is by far the most effective and intelligent treatment of its source material, building a creepy, suspenseful mood while avoiding lapses into pulp-novel camp.
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Special Features

Original theatrical trailer; English: mono; Spanish: mono; French & Spanish subtitles
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
The best filmization of the Curtis Siodmak book, Donovan's Brain is a ripping good time, especially for science fiction/horror fans. It's pure melodrama, of course, but it never attempts to disguise that fact, and in fact revels in its admittedly preposterous premise. Bizarre premises are, of course, a staple of films of this genre, so it's vitally important that a director know exactly how to handle this situation. If he takes it too seriously, he runs the risk of exposing just how silly it is; if he treats it too lightly, the viewer loses interest because there's not enough invested in it. Felix E. Feist, who also co-wrote the screenplay, directs with just the right touch, and certainly knows how to ramp up the suspense and create atmosphere along the way. He's aided enormously by his lead, Lew Ayres, whose performance hits all the right notes at exactly the level necessary. He anchors the film with a very fine performance that takes advantage of the "Jekyll and Hyde" nature of the story without going too far over the top. The supporting cast, including Nancy Davis and Gene Evans, is not quite up to his level, but their work is solid nonetheless.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/5/2001
  • UPC: 027616862853
  • Original Release: 1953
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Pan & Scan / Dolby 5.1 / Mono
  • Sound: Dolby Digital, monaural
  • Language: English, EspaƱol
  • Time: 1:24:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lew Ayres Dr. Patrick J. Cory
Gene Evans Dr. Frank Schratt
Nancy Reagan Janice Cory
Steve Brodie Herbie Yocum
Lisa Howard Chloe Donovan
Tom Powers Advisor
Michael Colgan Tom Donovan
Kyle James Ranger Chief Tuttle
Stapleton Kent W.J. Higgins
Peter Adams Mr. Webster
Victor Sutherland Nathaniel Fuller
John Hamilton Mr. MacNish
Harlan Warde Mr. Booke
Paul Hoffman Mr. Smith
William Cottrell Dr. Crane
Tony Merrill Hotel Desk Clerk
Mark Lowell Supply Company Clerk
Shimen Ruskin Tailor
Technical Credits
Felix E. Feist Director, Screenwriter
Jack R. Berne Asst. Director
Joseph Biroc Cinematographer
Edward Boyle Set Decoration/Design
Hugh Brooke Screenwriter
Eddie Dunstedter Score Composer
Tom Gries Producer
Chuck Keehne Costumes/Costume Designer
Boris Leven Production Designer
Terry Miles Makeup
Harry Redmond Special Effects
Curt Siodmak Original Story
Herbert L. Strock Editor
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selection
1. Credits/Monkey Brain [5:47]
2. Plane Crash Victim [5:36]
3. Human Brain [2:48]
4. Deviations [5:53]
5. Reactions [4:17]
6. Telepathy [5:38]
7. Obsessed [4:45]
8. Playing Donovan [6:24]
9. Serious Business [7:29]
10. Growing Concern [5:41]
11. Blackmail [4:26]
12. Breaking Free [6:01]
13. Gross Power [4:58]
14. Under The Spell [3:18]
15. Dangerous Truth [4:48]
16. Storm/End Credits [5:42]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Theatrical Trailer
   Languages
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