Who is Julia?

Tagged: Film

US made-for-tv film (1986). CBS Entertainment International for CBS-TV. Directed by Walter Grauman. Produced by Graumann, Philip Barry, and Andrew Fenady. Written by James Steven Sadwith based on the novel Who is Julia? (1972) by Barbara S Harris. Cast includes Jonathan Banks, Jeffrey DeMuneas, Judith Ledford, Jameson Parker and Mare Winningham (Mary Bodine). 91 minutes. Colour.

Beautiful fashion model Julia North (Ledford) is struck down while saving a young child from being hit by a large truck on a busy street. Plain-looking Mary Bodine (Winningham) is a middle-class lady who suffers a brain aneurysm at almost the same instance across the street. Both women end up at the hospital where Dr David Matthews (DeMuneas) has been hoping for a chance to perform his experimental brain transplant procedure. As Julia's brain is undamaged while her body is injured beyond repair, he sees this as his opportunity. Managing to obtain permission, Matthews transplants Julia's brain into Mary's otherwise healthy body, and after some rough periods, the Identity Transfer proves successful. However, psychological problems arise as Julia attempts to accept her new life in Mary's body, which also proves a difficult adjustment for her husband Don North (Parker). Complicating matters is Mary's former husband Jack Bodine (Banks), who will not accept for some time that his wife has died, although he finally realizes this is the case despite appearances. The ending indicates that Julia will have some ongoing issues, but concludes on a hopeful note.

Despite the unlikely premise, Who is Julia? manages to bring some sf concepts into a format suited to viewers more accustomed to prime-time dramas like Dallas or Knot's Landing. [GSt]

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