IMDb > Brainstorm (1983)
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Brainstorm (1983) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Bruce Joel Rubin (story)
Robert Stitzel (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Brainstorm on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 September 1983 (USA) See more »
...The Ultimate Experience See more »
Brilliant researchers Lillian Reynolds and Michael Brace have developed a system of recording and playing back actual experiences of people... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
2 wins & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
About exploring experience, life, love, even death, from the point of view of others. See more (84 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Christopher Walken ... Michael Brace

Natalie Wood ... Karen Brace

Louise Fletcher ... Lillian Reynolds

Cliff Robertson ... Alex Terson
Jordan Christopher ... Gordy Forbes
Donald Hotton ... Landan Marks

Alan Fudge ... Robert Jenkins
Joe Dorsey ... Hal Abramson
Bill Morey ... James Zimbach

Jason Lively ... Chris Brace

Darrell Larson ... Security Technician
Lou Walker ... Chef
Stacey Kuhne-Adams ... Andrea
John Hugh ... Animal Lab Technician
Ira David Wood III ... Barry (as David Wood)
Keith Colbert ... Dr. Ted Harris
Jerry Bennett ... Dr. Janet Bock
Mary Fran Lyman ... Realtor (as Mary-Fran Lyman)
Jack Harmon ... Security Guard

Nina Axelrod ... Simulator Technician
Kelly W. Brown ... Race Car Man
Desiree Ayres ... Bikini Girl #1

Debby Porter ... Bikini Girl #2
Alan G. Butler ... Man at Party #1
Robert Bloodworth ... Man at Party #4
Georgianne Walken ... Wendy Abramson

Jimmy Boyd ... Col. Howe (as Jim Boyd)
Charlie Briggs ... Col. Easterbrook
Ann Lincoln ... Alex's Secretary
Robert Terry Young ... Minister on Bell Tower (as Rev. Robert Terry Young)
Bill Willens ... Emergency Room Doctor
Jim Burk ... Lab Technician
James J. Casino ... Tape Library Technician (as Jimmy Casino)
Robert Hippard ... Screaming Man
John Gladstein ... Dr. Pederson
Herbert Hirschman ... Dr. Graf

John Vidor ... Bellhop
Bill Couch ... Agent #1

Robert Gooden ... Agent #2

Wallace Merck ... Agent #3
Glen Lee ... Agent #4
Ernest Robinson ... Guard #1 (as Ernie Robinson)
Roger Black ... Bob Burns
Tommy J. Huff ... Guard #2
May Boss ... Tape Library Woman (as May Raymond Boss)
Clay Boss ... Tape Library Man
Peter Harrell ... Doug
Susan Kampe ... Angel
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Lana Clarkson ... Food Fantasy Girl (uncredited)

John Philip Dayton ... Young Technician (uncredited)

Eric Lively ... Baby (uncredited)

Don Stafford ... Party Attendee (uncredited)

Directed by
Douglas Trumbull 
Writing credits
Bruce Joel Rubin (story)

Robert Stitzel (screenplay) and
Philip Frank Messina (screenplay)

Produced by
Joel L. Freedman .... executive producer
Douglas Trumbull .... producer
Richard Yuricich .... associate producer
Original Music by
James Horner 
Cinematography by
Richard Yuricich (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Freeman A. Davies  (as Freeman Davies)
Edward Warschilka 
Casting by
Toni Howard 
Lynn Stalmaster 
Production Design by
John Vallone 
Art Direction by
David L. Snyder 
Set Decoration by
Linda DeScenna 
Tom Pedigo 
Costume Design by
Makeup Department
Edwin Butterworth .... makeup artist: Ms. Wood
Bette Iverson .... hair stylist (as Bette L. Iverson)
Robert Jiras .... makeup artist
Kaye Pownall .... hair stylist: Ms. Wood
Edward Ternes .... makeup artist (as Edward C. Ternes)
Production Management
Jack Grossberg .... executive in charge of production
Jack Grossberg .... unit production manager
John G. Wilson .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Patrick Cosgrove .... second assistant director
Brian E. Frankish .... first assistant director
Bob Jeffords .... first assistant director (as Robert Jeffords)
Eugene Mazzola .... first assistant director
David McGiffert .... first assistant director
Art Department
Jack E. Ackerman .... property master
Philip Calhoun .... assistant property (as Phil Calhoun)
Paul J. Campanella .... stand-by painter (as Paul Campanella)
Stephen Dane .... assistant art director
Joey De Rosa .... leadman (as Joe DeRosa)
Michael Gibson .... artistic consultant
Steve Kinyoun .... construction coordinator (as Steven L. Kinyoun)
Thomas Meleck .... assistant art director (as Tom Melleck)
Jerry Morawski .... artistic consultant
Claude F. Powell .... construction coordinator
Marjorie Stone .... set designer
Ann Vidor .... artistic consultant
Robert Van Dyke .... propmaker gangboss (uncredited)
Sound Department
Teri E. Dorman .... sound editor
Jay Engel .... adr editor
Don Hall .... sound editor
Joseph A. Ippolito .... sound editor (as Joe Ippolito)
John A. Larsen .... sound editor (as John Larsen)
Don MacDougall .... supervising re-recording mixer
John L. Mack .... re-recording mixer
Jack Manning .... special synthesizer effects
Pete Martinez .... cable man
Art Rochester .... sound mixer
Victoria Rose Sampson .... sound editor
William A. Sawyer .... sound editor (as Bill Sawyer)
Frank Serafine .... special synthesizer effects
Richard Thornton .... boom man
Richard Tyler .... re-recording mixer
Ian Underwood .... special synthesizer effects
Eric Whitfield .... assistant sound editor
Ken Dufva .... foley artist (uncredited)
George E. Marshall Jr. .... boom operator: second unit (uncredited)
Philip Rogers .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Curt Schulkey .... sound editor (uncredited)
Jerry Whittington .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Eric Allard .... special effects
Martin Bresin .... special effects
Paul Curley .... miniatures and action props
Leslie Ekker .... miniatures and action props
Kento Gebo .... miniatures and action props
Ron Gress .... miniatures and action props (as Ronald Gress)
Robert L. Johnston .... miniatures and action props (as Robert Johnston)
Michael McMillen .... miniatures and action props (as Mike McMillen)
Tom Pahk .... miniatures and action props (as Thomas Pahk)
John Piner .... projectionist
Robin Reilly .... miniatures and action props
Christopher S. Ross .... miniatures and action props (as Christopher Ross)
Dennis Schultz .... miniatures and action props
David Shwartz .... miniatures and action props
Robert Spurlock .... special effects
Rick Thompson .... miniatures and action props (as Richard Thompson)
Jor Van Kline .... special effects (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Michael Backauskas .... optical line-up: Entertainment Effects Group
Don Baker .... compsy effects supervisor: Entertainment Effects Group
Charles Cowles .... optical camera operator (as Chuck Cowles)
Tom Cranham .... illustrator
James R. Dickson .... additional photography: Entertainment Effects Group
Stephen Fog .... mechanical technician (as Stephen C. Fog)
Ernest Garza .... still lab technician
William Goddard .... electronics technician
Robert Hall .... optical effects supervisor: Entertainment Effects Group
Alan Harding .... lead camera technician
Robert Hickson .... effects artistic consultant
Jack Hinkle .... assistant editor: Entertainment Effects Group
Robert Hippard .... post-production coordinator: Entertainment Effects Group
Richard E. Hollander .... compsy technical supervisor: Entertainment Effects Group (as Richard Hollander)
Dick Lasley .... illustrator
Robin Dean Leyden .... electronics technician (as Robin Leyden)
Gary Lynn Love .... electronics technician
Virgil Mirano .... visual consultant
Paul Olsen .... effects artistic consultant
Beth Parker .... film technician
George Polkinghorne .... cine technician
Adolf Schaller .... effects artistic consultant
Mark Stetson .... action props and miniatures supervisor: Entertainment Effects Group
David K. Stewart .... director of photography: Entertainment Effects Group (as Dave Stewart)
Patrick Van Auken .... grip: effects (as Pat Van Auken)
Paul Van Camp .... electronics technician
John C. Wash .... animation and graphics: Entertainment Effects Group
Peggy Weil .... effects artistic consultant
Mark West .... mechanical technician (as Mark J. West)
Alison Yerxa .... visual effects supervisor: Entertainment Effects Group
Dana Yuricich .... assistant matte artist
Matthew Yuricich .... matte artist: Entertainment Effects Group
Bill Couch .... stunt coordinator
Tommy J. Huff .... stunt performer: guard #2 (as Tommy Huff)
Ernest Robinson .... stunt performer: guard #1 (as Ernie Robinson)
Mags Kavanaugh .... stunt double (uncredited)
Ed McDermott II .... stunt player (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
William L. Asman .... camera operator (as William Asman)
Albert Bettcher .... camera operator (as Al Bettcher)
Leonardo Chavez .... second grip
Ralph Gerling .... camera operator
Michael Gershman .... camera operator
Carl R. Gibson Jr. .... best boy grip
Dennis Greene .... dolly grip (as Dennis W. Greene)
Rhonda C. Gunner .... video technician (as Rhonda Gunner)
Bob Haagensen .... director of photography: second unit
Craig Haagensen .... first assistant camera
David R. Hardberger .... camera technician (as David Hardberger)
Thomas E. Hayes .... assistant chief lighting technician
Len Hekel .... still photographer
Ted Holt .... chief lighting technician (as Theodore Porter Holt)
Dan Lerner .... camera operator (as Daniel Lerner)
Christine M. Loss .... still photographer (as Christine Loss)
Bruce MacCallum .... second assistant camera (as Bruce McCallum)
Gregory L. McMurry .... video engineer (as Greg McMurry)
Josh Morton .... camera technician (as Joshua Morton)
Jim Rose .... assistant chief lighting technician
Tim Ryan .... key grip
Steven H. Smith .... first assistant camera (as Steve Smith)
Tama Takahashi .... camera technician
Joseph F. Valentine .... camera operator (as Joe Valentine)
Ronald Vidor .... camera operator
Josh Weiner .... still photographer
Jim Wuertemburg .... assistant chief lighting technician (as James T. Wuertenburg)
Thomas Baker .... motion-control camera (uncredited)
Albert Hood .... electrician (uncredited)
John Reynolds .... lighting technician (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Deedee Burch .... costumer
Richard Butz .... costumer: men (as Dick Butz)
John George .... costumer
Aida Swinson .... costumer: women
Editorial Department
Barbara Dunning .... assistant film editor
Terry Ladin .... post-production office coordinator
William Pine .... color timer
Nora Jeanne Smith .... negative cutter (as Jeanne Smith)
Edward A. Warschilka .... assistant film editor (as Edward Warschilka Jr.)
Blake Jones .... colorist: home video (uncredited)
Location Management
Paul Pav .... location manager
Music Department
Bill Crofut .... consultant: source music
Harry V. Lojewski .... music supervisor
Greig McRitchie .... orchestrator
Shawn Murphy .... music recording supervisor
Douglas Neslund .... conductor: California Boys Choir
William Saracino .... music editor
J. Benjamin Smith .... conductor: The Duke University Choir
James Horner .... conductor (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Frank Mielcarek .... transportation captain (as Frank Meilcarek)
Randy Peters .... transportation coordinator
Don Pierce .... transportation captain
Other crew
Joyce Goldberg .... assistant: Mr. Yuricich
Christina Grof .... consultant: experimental sequence
Stanislav Grof .... consultant: experimental sequence
Vic Heutschy .... unit publicist
Jessi Katz .... post-production aide
Michael Knutsen .... craft service (as Michael P. Knutsen)
Don Levy .... unit publicist
Durk Pearson .... scientific consultant
George Pryor .... post-production aide
Ana Maria Quintana .... script supervisor
Sandy Shaw .... scientific consultant
Barbara Spitz .... production office coordinator
Daniel R. Suhart .... post-production aide (as Dan Suhart)
Evans Wetmore .... consulting engineer
Robert Wilson .... post-production aide
Allen Yamashita .... assistant: Mr. Trumbull
Carolyn Bates .... effects assistant (uncredited)
Dixie Fusillo .... production accountant (uncredited)
James B. Hunt Jr. .... through the assistance of (as Governor James B. Hunt Jr.)
Natalie Wood .... dedicatee (as Natalie)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Gordon Forbes Tapes" - USA (alternative title)
See more »
106 min
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | Dolby (35 mm prints)

Did You Know?

The film was conceived as an introduction to Douglas Trumbull's Showscan 60 frames-per-second 70mm film process. "In movies people often do flashbacks and point-of-view shots as a gauzy, mysterious, distant kind of image," Trumbull recalled, "And I wanted to do just the opposite, which was to make the material of the mind even more real and high-impact than 'reality'". However, MGM backed out of plans to release the experimental picture in the new format. Trumbull instead shot the virtual reality sequences in 24 frames-per-second Super Panavision 70 with an aspect ratio of 2.2:1. The rest of the film was shot in conventional 35mm with an aspect ratio of approximately 1.7 to 1.See more »
Factual errors: There is no possible way that any assembly line could have been remotely programmed to have gone haywire and crazy at it did by Karen, and there is no way that a remote access terminal could override a direct power shutoff at the factory.See more »
[first lines]
Dr. Lillian Reynolds:Can you see better if I move it a little closer?
Dr. Michael Anthony Brace:I can see something. It's parts of the grid, but it's still rotating. It's not locking up.
Hal Abramson:Maybe we all need a little break, Lillian.
Dr. Lillian Reynolds:Hal, you take a break.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Making of 'Event Horizon' (2006) (V)See more »


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91 out of 99 people found the following review useful.
About exploring experience, life, love, even death, from the point of view of others., 2 December 2003
Author: budmassey ( from Indianapolis, IN

Everyone knows this was Natalie Wood's last film, and that some of her scenes were filmed after her death with a stand-in you only see from behind. Director Donald Trumball, best known for his special effects work in Blade Runner, Close Enounters, and Star Trek, chose this time to build his story on plot and character development, a good choice given the enormous talent he had to work with. Trumball's battle with studio execs to finish the film after Wood's death, rather than claim the insurance proceeds and call the film off, ended his career in Hollywood, but assured that this gem would not be lost. It is somewhat ironic that Natalie's swan song should be a sci-fi movie, since she was hardly known for work in the genre, but she brings a grace and charm, as well as depth and beauty, to the genre that is usually lacking.

Most sci-fi films based on technology don't age well, and there are times where this is no exception. The idea of recording on tape, let alone making tape loops, must seem like wax cylinder recordings to today's MP3 generation. The tapes themselves were props borrowed from a film being shot nearby, and that film was itself a dismal failure. But the concept is timeless, and so well done that, all in all, the film still works as well as it did in 1983.

Lesser screenplays would have been content with the main story line; scientists invent a way to record brainwaves and play them back for a real life out of body experience, and for just such a stinker, check out Strange Days. But then along comes the incomparable, utterly fabulous Louise Fletcher, who, as one of the co-inventors of the aforementioned device, records her death when she suffers a heart attack while working late one night. For the rest of the film, people are either trying to play the tape or prevent others from playing it. Meanwhile, the technology gets hijacked by two-dimensional government lackeys trying to exploit the weapons potential of the invention.

One can easily pick out scenes of this movie to vilify or exalt, all these years later, and any object viewed over time eventually has a vanishing point. The almost slapstick scene where the assembly robots go berserk is one example of a scene that, while consistent with its contemporaries, is silly today. The death scene, though much maligned, is equally misunderstood, and provides the metaphysical underpinnings that elevate Brainstorm above mere gadget flicks. Brainstorm is about exploring experience, life, love, even death, from the point of view of others, and Academy Award winner Louise Fletcher allows us to do so through her consummate skill in presenting a death scene of sufficient awe and wonder to warrant exploration.

If you want to find out what else happens, watch the film, but when you do, don't ignore the beautiful, delicate interplay between Christopher Walken and Natalie Wood. Their careening relationship seems somehow tied to the invention they helped make, and there are sequences so beautiful that I sometimes take out the DVD just to marvel at them.

Despite changing styles in special effects, this is a timeless and beautiful story that transcends the genre and, with Walken, Wood and Fletcher, becomes more than just a story about shiny gold tapes that record brain waves. It's more about immovable objects and irresistible forces and what happens when they collide. Intrigued? Good. Go watch it.

Was the above review useful to you?
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