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The Happiness Cage (1972)

 -  Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller  -  28 June 1972 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 311 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 6 critic

A German scientist works on a way of quelling overly aggressive soldiers by developing implants that directly stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain.



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Title: The Happiness Cage (1972)

The Happiness Cage (1972) on IMDb 5.9/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Privatz James H. Reese
Dr. Frederick
The Major
Sergeant Boford Miles
Lawrence Shannon - orderly
Bette Henritze ...
Anna Kraus
Susan Travers ...
Nurse Schroeder
Birthe Neumann ...
Lisa (as Birthe Newmann)
Claus Nissen ...
Army Psychiatrist
Vibeke Juul Bengtsson ...
(as Vibeke Bengtsson)
Katherine Argo
Norman Mackie
Leslie Ogle
Torben Hundal


A German scientist works on a way of quelling overly aggressive soldiers by developing implants that directly stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain.

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Sometimes the cure is deadlier than the disease.


Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 June 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mind Snatchers  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Major: Frankly, who would miss him?
Dr. Frederick: Who would miss him? Who, indeed. God help lonely people.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the end credits have rolled, over a freeze-frame of Private Reese, a Newseek magazine cover picturing a monkey titled "Probind the Brain" is displayed, along with the text "In 1954, two Canadian scientists discovered that the brain contained areas of please and of pain. Since the, in research institutes, hospitals, and sanitariums all over the world, electrical wires have beem placed into the brains of guinea pigs, rabbits, monkeys......and humans." See more »

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User Reviews

THE MIND SNATCHERS (Bernard Girard, 1972) **1/2
27 October 2007 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Interesting but hardly original drama with sci-fi leanings – though not quite the "horror"/"chiller" described by the ads! – involving the brain-washing of violence-prone subjects by the system (which must have seemed particularly trenchant at the time of the Vietnam war).

At this juncture, however, the movie feels quite dated – if reasonably intelligent and compelling nonetheless. Being also relentlessly talky (not surprising, given its stage origins) and low-key in nature, there's a conspicuous lack of cinematic inventiveness – which doesn't really allow for a sensible comparison with Stanley Kubrick's stylized treatment of the same theme in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971)! Still, it has some undeniably powerful moments – and the small cast is impressive: Christopher Walken (relatively inexperienced for this type of demanding role, but quite good in his Method approach to it); Joss Ackland (as the requisite mad scientist); Ralph Meeker (as the equally inevitable, and callous, military overseer); and Ronny Cox (as a fellow inmate of Walken's who, after much soul-searching, willingly submits to the dehumanizing experiment).

Incidentally, the play was filmed under its original title – THE HAPPINESS CAGE – but this got changed (in case it was mistaken for an ode to hippiedom) first to the sci-fi friendly and, in retrospect, more appropriate THE MIND SNATCHERS and eventually to the horror-oriented (and, consequently, wholly misleading) THE DEMON WITHIN!

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