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Erich von Stroheim
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In an interview, longtime Republic Pictures director Joseph Kane said that director George Sherman found working with star Vera Ralston so taxing that after this film was completed he quit Republic--where he had spent many years--because he thought he was going to be asked to direct another one of her pictures. See more »
Having been convicted of murder, Roger Collins is confined in a federal penitentiary. But murder is not a federal offense; Collins should have been sent to a state prison instead. See more »
Prof. Franz Mueller:
What do I know about the brain itself? Nothing. Can it think? Remember after its body is dead? Could it be made to feel, to hear perhaps, or to express itself in some way? To contact the living?
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The Lady And The Monster is a misnomer of a title in that no other world or unearthly creatures will be found here. The monster in this film is the brain of a malignant and vicious millionaire who is killed in a plane crash and has his brain removed by scientist Erich Von Stroheim. Von Stroheim and his assistant Richard Arlen put the brain in a saline solution and keep it alive with electricity. Just the brain mind you, they're not reconstructing human beings as Dr. Frankenstein was.
But Walter Donovan was a real piece of work even for a miser. He's got his assets carefully hidden so that wife Helen Vinson and her lawyer Sidney Blackmer don't know where they are. And he's got a son in William Henry in prison who doesn't know he's Donovan's kid.
In fact everyone has an agenda here. Vera Hruba Ralston who is Von Stroheim's nurse wants Arlen. But Arlen is taken over by the brain which through Von Stroheim's experiments has developed tremendous telepathic powers and as it grows stronger controls Arlen more and more.
This film is the first one based on Curt Siodmark's novel Donovan's Brain. It's been remade twice since. In the version with Lew Ayres in Arlen's part, the brain has a truly ambitious plan for world domination with stock and currency manipulation. Here the brain is just working on settling some old scores.
Just the fact that Von Stroheim is cast as the evil scientist meant that audiences knew exactly what to expect when they bought their tickets. He's his usual hateful self as he always was except in Sunset Boulevard.
The Lady And The Monster is one of Republic Pictures better products from the Forties, a real nice low budget thriller. By the way take note of Mary Nash as Von Stroheim's housekeeper. She's the one who saves the world from Donovan's Brain.
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