IMDb > Donovan's Brain (1953)
Donovan's Brain
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Donovan's Brain (1953) More at IMDbPro »

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Donovan's Brain -- Former First Lady Nancy (Davis) Reagan stars with Lew Ayres in this shocking science-fiction tale about a laboratory experiment that unleashes a powerful and out-of-control brain.

Overview

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6.0/10   849 votes »
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Up 39% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Curt Siodmak (novel)
Hugh Brooke (adaptation)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Donovan's Brain on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 September 1953 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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... See more » | Full synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(2 articles)
User Reviews:
A modest but enjoyable thriller from writer Curt Siodmak See more (31 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Lew Ayres ... Dr. Patrick J. Cory
Gene Evans ... Dr. Frank Schratt

Nancy Reagan ... 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
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Don Brodie ... Detective Who Follows Dr. Cory from Hotel (uncredited)
William Cottrell ... Dr. Crane (uncredited)
John Hamilton ... Mr. MacNish, Bank Manager (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Man leaving Fuller's Office (uncredited)
Paul Hoffman ... Mr. Smith, Treasury Dept. (uncredited)
Stapleton Kent ... W. J. Higgins (uncredited)
Faith Langley ... Fuller's Receptionist (uncredited)
Mark Lowell ... Allied Supply Clerk (uncredited)

Frank McClure ... Man leaving Fuller's Office (uncredited)
Walter Merrill ... Town House Desk Clerk (uncredited)
Charles Sullivan ... Auto Passenger at Accident Scene (uncredited)
Max Wagner ... Station Agent (uncredited)
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Directed by
Felix E. Feist  (as Felix Feist)
 
Writing credits
Curt Siodmak (novel "Donovan's Brain")

Hugh Brooke (adaptation)

Felix E. Feist (screenplay) (as Felix Feist)

Produced by
Allan Dowling .... executive producer
Tom Gries .... producer
Herbert L. Strock .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Eddie Dunstedter 
 
Cinematography by
Joseph F. Biroc  (as Joseph Biroc)
 
Film Editing by
Herbert L. Strock 
 
Production Design by
Boris Leven 
 
Set Decoration by
Edward G. Boyle 
 
Makeup Department
Ruby Felker .... hair stylist
Terry Miles .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Ben Chapman .... production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jack R. Berne .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Bill Naylor .... sound effects editor
Earl Snyder .... sound mixer
 
Special Effects by
Franz Dallons .... props
Oscar Dallons .... props
Paul Dallons .... props
Harry Redmond Jr. .... special effects
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Chuck Keehne .... wardrobe: men
 
Music Department
Eddie Dunstedter .... conductor
 
Other crew
Mary Chaffee .... script supervisor
Allan Dowling .... presenter
Herbert L. Strock .... assistant to producer
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
83 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Finland:K-16 | USA:Approved (PCA #16420)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The sign on the door of the attorney's office includes a "B. Chapman, CPA." Ben Chapman was the film's production supervisor.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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 »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
A modest but enjoyable thriller from writer Curt Siodmak, 2 March 2002
Author: Bruce Cook (brucemcook@windstream.net) from Fayetteville, GA

An effective screen version of Curt Siodmak's novel, in some ways more faithful than the earlier version made in 1944, `The Lady and the Monster'. Lew Ayres is a doctor and research scientist who experiments with monkey brains, keeping them alive in a tank of liquid nutrients after they've been surgically removed from the body. When the private plane of an infamous tycoon crashes in the desert nearby, Ayres is called to the scene to render medical assistance, but the tycoon is dead. Ayres decides to use the brain as part of his experiments, removing it from the body and placing in a nutrient-filled tank. The brain lives, and Ayres attempts to communicate with it by telepathy.

The ruthless, strong-willed tycoon begins to take control of Ayres and reestablish control of his financial empire. Nancy Davis (the future first lady, Mrs. Ronald Reagan) is Ayre's supportive wife. Gene Evans is his alcoholic friend and medical colleague.

An intelligent, thought-provoking movie. Forgive a minor flaw: the tank which holds the brain looks like an aquarium fill with dirty water. The brain sits half submerged, twitching in the water when it gets excited. This idea was done much better in `The Colossus of of New York', so try not to compare.

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