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 »
Working for O.S.I., the Office of Scientific Investigation, A-Man agent Jeffrey Stewart and his partner Dan Forbes are sent to a local hardware store where they find a strong magnetic field... See full summary »
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 will on the scientist, and uses him to murder his enemies. Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
Orson Welles played the part of Dr. Corey in "Donovan's Brain" on the only two-part broadcast ever produced on radio's "Suspense", 18 May and 25 May 1944. See more »
At one point, Frank (Gene Evans) states "Pat made that recording while the brain was destroying Yocum." However, in the final edited version of the movie, Pat (Dr. Cory, played by Lew Ayres) makes his recording several days before Yocum is killed. See more »
When the noir cycle was running down (and out) in the early 1950s, the new spate of "sci-fi" movies could lay claim to being among its bastard offspring. These programmers about atomic mutants, mad scientists and monsters from the night sky took over the quick-and-dirty, bottom-of-the-bill status the noirs once occupied. Rarely, however, did they boast their known and seasoned casts or their distinctive visual style (how could they? They were all set out in the damn desert).
But they also inherited some noir veterans. Donovan's Brain was directed by Felix Feist (The Devil Thumbs A Ride, Tomorrow Is Another Day) and originally written by Curt Siodmak (Berlin Express).
Scientist Lew Ayres works on keeping monkey brains alive outside their bodies. When a powerful millionaire dies in a car crash conveniently nearby, Ayres volunteers to resuscitate the brain and succeeds beyond his hopes. In its electromagnetic bath, the organ pulsates and glows, developing telepathic powers. Soon it's taking over Ayres' personality; he starts living Donovan's life and continuing his dirty work, all the way to Washington.
Ayres' wife (Nancy Davis at her most charmless and plain-jane) grows alarmed, and plans to unplug the brain. Trouble is, it can sense hostility and defend itself....
Feist applies some practised suspense techniques to the story, and with Joseph Biroc's photography the movie doesn't look bad, either. But it's high point is Ayres as he shifts from mild researcher to the insolent, despotic Donovan. He makes the hour and a half something more than just passable.
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