Hauser's Memory

Tagged: Film

Made-for-tv film (1970). Universal/NBC TV. Directed by Boris Sagal. Written by Adrian Spies, based on Hauser's Memory (1968) by Curt Siodmak. Cast includes David McCallum, Leslie Nielsen, Lilli Palmer, Susan Strasberg and Robert Webber. 100 minutes. Colour.

Siodmak's 1968 novel is an updated but equally absurd variation on the theme of his novel Donovan's Brain (1943), which was filmed three times (see Donovan's Brain; The Lady and the Monster; Vengeance): a dead man's mind somehow exerts influence on the living. This time DNA material taken from the brain of a dead German Nazi scientist in order to preserve his scientific knowledge is injected into a young US Jewish scientist (McCallum). The conflicts created within the hero's mind by this experiment in memory transfer (see Identity Transfer) have dramatic potential, mostly wasted as the film degenerates into a conventional thriller about the CIA versus the Russians. At the end, Hauser's memory now dominating the hero, a melodramatic revenge takes place. [JB]

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