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Donovan's Brain (1953)

Approved | | Sci-Fi, Horror | 30 September 1953 (USA)
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 »

Director:

(as Felix Feist)

Writers:

(novel), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Janice Cory (as Nancy Davis)
...
Herbie Yocum
...
Donovan's Washington Advisor
Lisa Howard ...
Chloe Donovan (as Lisa K. Howard)
...
Chief Tuttle (as Kyle James)
Victor Sutherland ...
Nathaniel Fuller
Michael Colgan ...
Tom Donovan
Peter Adams ...
Mr. Webster
Harlan Warde ...
Treasury Agent Brooke
Shimen Ruskin ...
Tailor
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Storyline

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 <mmckee@wkio.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 September 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Donovans Hirn  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Female lead Nancy Davis was, of course, Mrs. Ronald Reagan. See more »

Goofs

The size of the brain in the tank keeps abruptly changing size, within the same scene. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Patrick J. Cory: I think someday you'll be as famous as Madame Eve Curie.
Janice Cory: We'll if I'm as useful to you as she was to her husband, I'll settle for that.
Dr. Patrick J. Cory: You're just as useful and lots prettier.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Car 54, Where Are You?: Change Your Partner (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tautly efficient black & white thriller from yesteryear.
14 March 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Fun stuff. A wicked little thriller from the early 1950's, palpably flavored with some early Sci-Fi elements. These "Sci-Fi" elements, are primarily due to the doctors (quite humble) laboratory. And because of the consistently good (occasionally great) acting and steady direction, the movie moves along at a good pace and proves to be very entertaining for such a low-budget production. Not all good movies cost mega-bucks to make and "Donovan's Brain" is a fine example of that. Like several reviewers have stated before me, this is the best film adaption of the famous Curt Siodmak novel (in contrast to the laughably dismal, MST3K-panned "The Brain That Wouldn't Die"). By watching this movie, it's quite obvious that it came out of the same decade that gave light to The Twilight Zone; as I found the film to play out much like a long-play episode of that show. The film is tautly put together and well-acted, the cast (which includes a young-ish Nancy Davis/Reagan) and crew did a lot with a little, in creating a highly entertaining psychological/sci-fi thriller. Certainly somewhat dated, but in a most charming way. Take note of those great, highly excitable sound effects coming from the professor's laboratory - very fun sounds. Perfect viewing on a dismal rainy afternoon (or night).

On a morbid sidenote, by sheer coincidence, I happened to see "Donovan's Brain" for the first time, on the very same day that Nancy Reagan was put in the ground. Like I said a bit on the morbid side.


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