A physician on death row for a mercy killing is allowed to experiment on a serum using a criminals' blood, but secretly tests it on himself. He gets a pardon, but finds out he's become a Jekyll-&-Hyde.
Nell Bowen, the spirited protege of rich Lord Mortimer, becomes interested in the conditions of notorious St. Mary's of Bethlehem Asylum (Bedlam). Encouraged by the Quaker Hannay, she tries... See full summary »
Dr. Laurence, a once-respectable scientist, begins to research the origin of the mind and the soul. The science community rejects him, and he risks losing everything for which he has worked. He begins to use his discoveries to save his research and further his own causes, thereby becoming... a Mad Scientist, almost unstoppable...Written by
Boris Karloff's second feature in Britain, filmed March 3-mid April 1936, followed quickly by "Juggernaut." See more »
After Dr. Laurience transfers minds between himself and Dick Haslewood, Haslewood-now in Laurience's body-slams his restraint chair against the wall of his transfer booth, thereby shattering the glass, to effect his escape from the incoming gas. Moments later, however, when Clare and the police return Dick and the doctor to their respective chambers for mind re-transference, that booth is once-again intact and undamaged. See more »
[Growing bitter as camera dollies in]
I meant my work to be given to the world to be used for the common good, but they wouldn't have it! They wouldn't believe me... they laughed. All right, I'll keep it for myself, and I'll use it for my own ends.
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This is one of the earliest examples of the "mad scientist" characterization that would become so much a part of Boris' stock in trade over the following decade. What's most interesting about THE MAN WHO CHANGED HIS MIND is that it is not as much science fiction as it is an observation of what we might today call the "PR machine," and it takes some lacerating swipes at journalism, publicity and self-promotion.
Karloff is Dr. Laurience, a reclusive scientist who believes he can transfer the consciousness (or soul?) from one brain to another. Ably assisted by Dr. Clare Wyatt, Laurience draws the interest of newspaper publisher Lord Haslewood (whose son, Dick, is Clare's fiancé). Eager to promote his foundation, Haslewood offers to sponsor Laurience's work - without knowing exactly what it is. Before the dust settles, Haslewood feels swindled, Clare feels suspicious and Laurience feels used, vowing to employ his work to his own ends rather than for the benefit of mankind.
Boris' performance is exuberant, and supporting players Anna Lee, John Loder and Donald Calthrop are effective, but Frank Cellier, as Lord Haslewood, walks away with the picture whenever he is on screen. Without giving too much away, let's just say that Cellier is called upon to portray more than one personality, and provides the film with its most enjoyable scenes.
THE MAN WHO CHANGED HIS MIND definitely has its moments, along with a little something to say. With its takes on the press and the pitfalls of corporate control, it not only conveys messages to which we can relate today, but illustrates how little some things have changed in 70 years.
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