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The Man Without a Body (1957)

Unrated | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 1958 (USA)
A wealthy business man discovers he has a brain tumor and seeks medical help. The business man finds a scientist experimenting with transplanting monkey heads on different monkey bodies. ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Phil R. Merritt
Karl Brussard
Julia Arnall ...
Jean Cramer
Odette Vernet
Sheldon Lawrence ...
Dr. Lew Waldenhouse
Michael Golden ...
Norman Shelley ...
Dr. Alexander
Stanley Van Beers ...
Madame Tussaud's Guide (as Stanley van Beers)
Tony Quinn ...
Dr. Brandon
Maurice Kaufmann ...
Chauffer (as Maurice Kaufman)
William Sherwood ...
Dr. Charot
Edwin Ellis ...
Donald Morley ...
Stock Broker
Frank Forsyth ...


A wealthy business man discovers he has a brain tumor and seeks medical help. The business man finds a scientist experimenting with transplanting monkey heads on different monkey bodies. The business man decides to steal the head of Nostradamus from the prophet's crypt. Written by Scott Blacksher

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


a diabolical dream come true! Who is his Next Victim?


Horror | Sci-Fi


Unrated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Mann ohne Körper  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In an interview, Robert Hutton said that credited co-director Charles Saunders was hired to meet a British government requirement that a certain percentage of British citizens had to be hired on non-British productions filmed in England. Hutton said that although Saunders was always on the set, he had nothing to do with actually directing the picture. See more »

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User Reviews

George Coulouris seeks a new brain for his body and comes up with that of Nostradamus
29 January 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Out of the many movies I might have chosen to watch this day, many that I've never seen, I chose this one -- again. I wanted a sci-fi movie, so why this one? It has many attractions that more than offset its implausible plot device, which is the hope of an aging mega-mogul to impress his personality on the revived brain of Nostradamus, but then brain tumors can give you strange ideas.

For one thing, it has George Coulouris, playing one heckuva character. Coulouris was in "Citizen Kane". He's one of those fine actors like Lionel Atwill, John Carradine and George Zucco that make any movie they are in. Coulouris plays a mogul who has a brain tumor and a young and attractive mistress. He's irascible, quick, temperamental, and controlling. He has a strong body otherwise.

In his search for medical help, he comes across mild-mannered Robert Hutton, his attractive assistant whom Hutton ignores in favor of his research, and another assistant who ends up making time with the girl friend of Coulouris. Hutton has done a brain transplant on monkeys. He's no mad doctor, but his lab reminds one of that, with detached heads and eyeballs kept alive by tubes that convey nutrients and pumps.

Coulouris gets the idea of transplanting a new head into his body and convincing the new brain to carry on his work of making millions more and becoming the most powerful man in the world. The tumor is clearly affecting his thought. He goes to France and with the help of a down and out doctor returns with the head of Nostradamus, which has been preserved in a crypt. Coulouris figures that with his capacity to foretell the future, he's a shoo-in to make billions in the markets.

From there the story gets wilder and wilder. (The co-director is W. Lee Wilder.) The plot lacks continuity, but yet the goings-on keep one enthralled. The photography gets very noir after awhile. We get a monster wandering around with the head of Nostradamus. And while that head is still in the lab, we get interesting conversation with him. He is strong-willed, not easily controlled as Coulouris desires, and he decides to thwart Coulouris. The makeup of the head is alone worth the price of admission. The British did some solid sci-fi work in the 1950s and 60s, and this is one.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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