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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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 »
User Reviews:
May I Borrow Your Brain, Please See more (33 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)
Robert 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)

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
Harry Redmond Jr. .... special effects
Franz Dallons .... props (uncredited)
Oscar Dallons .... props (uncredited)
Paul Dallons .... props (uncredited)
 
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:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Writer Curt Siodmak was also set to direct, but at the last minute he was replaced by Felix E. Feist.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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 »
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FAQ

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May I Borrow Your Brain, Please, 1 August 2011
Author: dougdoepke from Claremont, USA

Well-crafted sci-fi with minimal special effects. Of course, the premise of a disembodied brain taking thought control of its master has kicked around more than a few times. However, this is arguably the best version, thanks to a tight screenplay and a fine central performance. Ayers must go from nice guy doctor to tyrannical business tycoon whenever the evil brain takes control. And he does both in highly convincing fashion—sure a long way from young Dr. Kildare. Nancy Davis (Reagan) also delivers as the loyal wife. Her films may never have been very distinguished, but she was always a credible low-key performer. Note also that usual tough guy Gene Evans gets the thankless "Igor" role as the lab assistant.

I guess I could have done with fewer close-ups of the pulsating brain. Unfortunately, the effect comes across in fairly hokey 50's fashion. Then too, that all-out thunder and lightning sequence amounts to more than just a storm. Instead , it looks more like a rage in heaven, like someone above is really angry at what's going on below. The heavy-handed theatrics is really out of sync with what's gone before. Despite the two drawbacks, the overall result is better than expected, thanks to the A-grade performances in a B-grade movie.

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