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

User Rating:
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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:
"Thanks, dear. Now go make us one of those wonderful stews, will you?" 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


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

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:
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 »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Child's Play (1988)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
"Thanks, dear. Now go make us one of those wonderful stews, will you?", 18 September 2014
Author: utgard14 from USA

When evil millionaire Donovan dies on his operating table, scientist Dr. Patrick Cory (Lew Ayres) seizes the opportunity and removes Donovan's brain, which still shows signs of life. He manages to keep the brain alive in a tank in his laboratory, where it grows in size in a short time as well as exhibiting telepathic abilities. Soon Donovan's brain becomes powerful enough to force his will on Cory and make him do his bidding.

Entertaining '50s sci-fi with few bells & whistles but an enjoyable cast and decent ideas. Lew Ayres is good. I like to imagine this is what happened to Dr. Kildare: he left medicine to become a research scientist and things went horribly wrong. Nancy Davis (Reagan) does a fine job, though her obedient housewife role is likely to draw criticisms from the huff & puff crowd. Gene Evans is great as Ayres' surgeon buddy with a drinking problem who gives Ayres the inevitable "you're playing God" speech. Steve Brodie is fun as a nosy reporter who gets what's coming to him. Based on a novel by screenwriter Curt Siodmak (The Wolfman, I Walked with a Zombie, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, etc.). Siodmak doesn't write the screenplay here. The movie was adapted before as The Lady and the Monster and Siodmak didn't write that either. Not sure why he didn't try to write his own movie version of the novel. This is a good sci-fi flick, though the middle is little more than Ayres going from place to place barking orders at people and handing out money. The beginning and ending are best. Not a lot of action, which won't sit well with everybody, but I was never bored.

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