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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

Dr. Cory, under the control of the brain, makes out a list showing several false identities under which Donovan has hidden money around the country. The first four names on the list are actual names of crew members: production supervisor H.B. Chapman, production designer Boris Leven, assistant director Jack R. Berne (on list as "Jack Byrne") and set decorator Edward Boyle. The fifth name, Fred Russell, is that of a popular sports writer of the early 1950s. 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: Perhaps I'll cure Frank and every other alcoholic if I can solve the mystery of Donovan's Brain. I think it's a matter of chemistry how the brain thinks. The problem is to find out what chemical combinations are responsible for success... failure... happiness... misery.
Janice Cory: Sounds impossible.
Dr. Patrick J. Cory: But it is not. It can't be. There has to be a way.
See more »

Connections

Remake of The Lady and the Monster (1944) See more »

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User Reviews

Silly but entertaining mind control yarn. Great fun!
23 January 2003 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

Veteran actor Lew Ayres, best known to many old movie buffs as 'Dr Kildare', plays Cory, a scientist experimenting with monkey's brains, seeing if it is possible for them to exist outside the body. He is assisted in his innovative work by his devoted wife Janice (the future Nancy "Just Say No" Reagan), and his alcoholic surgeon sidekick Schratt ('Shock Corridor's Gene Evans, in the film's best performance). A plane crashes near their laboratory, and the only survivor is taken there as it isn't thought he will live long enough to make it to the nearest hospital. Unable to save the man, Cory decides to secretly preserve the brain. The man is soon revealed to be ruthless multi-millionaire businessman Donovan. Cory's gamble pays off and the brain not only survives, but thrives. As it does it begins to control Cory, making him into a slave. Donovan's brain wants to continue to use his business empire for world domination, and will kill anyone who stands in his way. Cory's wife and colleague are helpless to stop what is going on. Now, there is a strong element of silliness throughout this thriller. The brain actually grows larger and pulses, and Ayers does the whole "must... stop....brain...before...it's...too...late' routine which quite possibly taught William Shatner a thing or two. But if enter into the spirit of the thing, this is one hell of an entertaining b-grade science fiction yarn, and lots of fun. For a different approach to the same Siodmak source material check out the early sixties mystery movie 'The Brain' starring Peter van Eyck.


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