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Donovan's Brain (1953)

6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 945 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 16 critic

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:
...
Gene Evans ...
...
Janice Cory (as Nancy Davis)
Steve Brodie ...
Herbie Yocum
Tom Powers ...
Donovan's Washington Advisor
Lisa Howard ...
Chloe Donovan (as Lisa K. Howard)
James Anderson ...
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
Edit

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

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Dr. Patrick J. Cory: [after Cory wakes Scratt up from a drunken stupor] My dear Dr. Schratt, you sober up with more
[pauses and shrugs]
Dr. Patrick J. Cory: grace than anyone I ever saw. You're terrific. C'mon, let's go.
Dr. Frank Schratt: Are you kidding?
[He hold out his shaking hand]
Dr. Frank Schratt: . Look! Nope.
Dr. Patrick J. Cory: Frank, don't let me down.
Dr. Frank Schratt: What's more useless than a surgeon with a hangover? I'm a drunken zero.! I pass!
Dr. Patrick J. Cory: No, you don't. I'd rather have you do a corneal transplant for me drunk than anyone else sober.
[Pulls him by the arm]
[...]
See more »

Connections

Remade as The Brain (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Familiar but pretty well-done
27 November 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A kindly doctor (Lew Ayres) keeps the brain of a rich man alive in a tank in his office. Unfortunately that rich man was also evil and starts to take over the doctor. His wife (Nancy Davis) and best friend (Gene Evans) realize there's something wrong...

This story has been told many times before...and this is considered the best version. To be honest I wasn't that thrilled. I found it VERY slow (probably because I know the story so well) and the (obvious) low budget hurts. The brain itself looks fake and when it started moving (and glowing) I burst out laughing. Still it's pretty well-done with a straight face. Ayres is actually very good as the scientist and Evans leads capable support. The real interest this movie has is Nancy Davis who later went on to marry Ronald Reagan and become the First Lady. It's good she did that because her acting is pretty lousy--and she looks horrible too.

So, if you've never read the story or saw any version of this, you might like it a lot. Otherwise, beware.


1 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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