Yet another version of Curt Siodmak's novel about an honest scientist who keeps the brain of a ruthless dead millionaire (Donovan) alive in a tank. Donovan manages to impose his powerful ... See full summary »
Star Vera Ralston was an ice-skating champion from Czechoslovakia who had made a few skating pictures for Republic. Studio chief Herbert J. Yates--who was also her boyfriend--decided she could be a star and put her into the lead in this film. Unfortunately, she spoke very little English and--according to longtime Republic director Joseph Kane--spoke all of her lines phonetically, without having any idea of what she was actually saying. See more »
Prof. Franz Mueller:
Would it not be the achievement of all time to keep the brains of great thinkers, scientists, authors, statesmen, alive? To derive benefit from their wisdom and thinking power, even after their death - to make them literally immortal?
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I don't get into the "science" of these types of films or even begin to question things that might not make sense, but I simply found the movie not very engaging. It had a pretty good start, but after about half an hour it began to drag. The "hero" wasn't very appealing, and the less said about the leading lady, the better. (According to some of the comments she wasn't simply a terribly wooden actress with zero ability to deliver her lines with any conviction whatsoever, she was a non-English-speaker and reciting her lines phonetically... this perhaps explains her performance, but not why anyone would hire her in the first place.) By contrast, Erich Von Stroheim was very entertaining and perfectly filled the bill for a driven, slightly-demented German-esque scientist.
The narration present throughout almost the entire film suggests to me that the screenwriters could have done a better job... to have a disembodied narrator explaining what's going on from start to finish is intrusive and didn't help me to engage with the picture. Exposition kills pacing, and a well-written script will eliminate the need for it.
I would say "don't bother" unless you like Von Stroheim and would enjoy watching him chew a little scenery. He was easily the best thing about the film and I likely wouldn't have finished it if it weren't for him.
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