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Donovan's Brain

Entry updated 14 January 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (1953). Dowling Productions/United Artists. Directed by Felix Feist. Written by Feist, based on Donovan's Brain (1943) by Curt Siodmak. Cast includes Lew Ayres, Nancy Davis and Gene Evans. 83 minutes. Black and white.

One of three films based on Siodmak's novel of the same name, the others being The Lady and the Monster (1944) and Vengeance (1963; vt The Brain). A scientist keeps a dead businessman's brain artificially alive (see Brain in a Box), but it has an evil, telepathic influence over him. Feist, whose previous sf film was Deluge (1933), directs unspectacularly, but gets a good performance from Ayres, who accomplishes the transitions from his natural to his possessed state very well. The female lead later married Ronald Reagan. Despite its sf elements, the film is more Gothic than scientific – the brain itself is ludicrous. Donovan's Brain was parodied in The Man with Two Brains (1983). [JB]

see also: Transcendence.


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