Dr. Laurence, a once-respectable scientist, begins to research the origin of the mind and the soul. The science community rejects him, and he risks losing everything for which he has worked. He begins to use his discoveries to save his research and further his own causes, thereby becoming... a Mad Scientist, almost unstoppable... Written by
This is one of the earliest examples of the "mad scientist" characterization that would become so much a part of Boris' stock in trade over the following decade. What's most interesting about THE MAN WHO CHANGED HIS MIND is that it is not as much science fiction as it is an observation of what we might today call the "PR machine," and it takes some lacerating swipes at journalism, publicity and self-promotion.
Karloff is Dr. Laurience, a reclusive scientist who believes he can transfer the consciousness (or soul?) from one brain to another. Ably assisted by Dr. Clare Wyatt, Laurience draws the interest of newspaper publisher Lord Haslewood (whose son, Dick, is Clare's fiancé). Eager to promote his foundation, Haslewood offers to sponsor Laurience's work - without knowing exactly what it is. Before the dust settles, Haslewood feels swindled, Clare feels suspicious and Laurience feels used, vowing to employ his work to his own ends rather than for the benefit of mankind.
Boris' performance is exuberant, and supporting players Anna Lee, John Loder and Donald Calthrop are effective, but Frank Cellier, as Lord Haslewood, walks away with the picture whenever he is on screen. Without giving too much away, let's just say that Cellier is called upon to portray more than one personality, and provides the film with its most enjoyable scenes.
THE MAN WHO CHANGED HIS MIND definitely has its moments, along with a little something to say. With its takes on the press and the pitfalls of corporate control, it not only conveys messages to which we can relate today, but illustrates how little some things have changed in 70 years.
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