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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Down 13% 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 »
User Reviews:
Familiar but pretty well-done 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
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:
Finland:K-16 | USA:Approved (PCA #16420)

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:
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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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Familiar but pretty well-done, 27 November 2004
Author: Wayne Malin (wwaayynnee51@hotmail.com) from United States

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.

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