6.0/10
1,281
36 user 28 critic

Donovan's Brain (1953)

Approved | | Sci-Fi, Horror | 30 September 1953 (USA)
Dr. Patrick "Pat" J. Cory is researching brains with his assistant and friend Dr. Frank Schratt and his wife Janice Cory through experiments with monkeys in a laboratory in his house. When ... See full summary »

Director:

Felix E. Feist (as Felix Feist)

Writers:

Curt Siodmak (novel), Hugh Brooke (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $5.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Sir Joel Cadman, a mad scientist, kidnaps his victims and cuts open their brains in an effort to discover a means to cure his wife's brain tumor.

Director: Reginald Le Borg
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Akim Tamiroff, Lon Chaney Jr.
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

When Ygor brings the Monster to Dr. Ludwig Frankenstein for care, Ludwig gets the idea of replacing the Monster's current criminal brain with a normal one.

Director: Erle C. Kenton
Stars: Cedric Hardwicke, Lon Chaney Jr., Ralph Bellamy
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A spaceship from another world crashes in the Arizona desert and only an amateur stargazer and a schoolteacher suspect alien influence when the local townsfolk begin to act strangely.

Director: Jack Arnold
Stars: Richard Carlson, Barbara Rush, Charles Drake
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

An eccentric scientist helps a fugitive from the law become invisible, unwittingly giving him the power to exact revenge on his former friends.

Director: Ford Beebe
Stars: Jon Hall, Leon Errol, John Carradine
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Bud and Lou find themselves pursued by an Egyptian cult for a special medallion linked to a walking mummy.

Director: Charles Lamont
Stars: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Marie Windsor
Certificate: Passed Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In fifteenth century Paris, the brother of the archdeacon plots with the gypsy king to foment a peasant revolt. Meanwhile, a freakish hunchback falls in love with the gypsy queen.

Director: Wallace Worsley
Stars: Lon Chaney, Patsy Ruth Miller, Norman Kerry
The Manster (1959)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

An American reporter in Japan is sent to interview an eccentric Japanese scientist working on bizarre experiments in his mountain laboratory. When the doctor realizes that the hapless ... See full summary »

Directors: George P. Breakston, Kenneth G. Crane
Stars: Peter Dyneley, Jane Hylton, Tetsu Nakamura
Adventure | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A kindly English botanist and a gruff American scientist lead an expedition to the Himalayas in search of the legendary Yeti.

Director: Val Guest
Stars: Forrest Tucker, Peter Cushing, Maureen Connell
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A scientist becomes murderous after discovering, and being exposed to the radiation of, a powerful new element called Radium X.

Director: Lambert Hillyer
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Frances Drake
Quatermass 2 (1957)
Sci-Fi | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Professor Quatermass, trying to gather support for his Lunar colonisation project, is intrigued by mysterious traces that have been showing up.

Director: Val Guest
Stars: Brian Donlevy, John Longden, Sidney James
Horror | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

As a mysterious planet hurls itself toward earth, an enigmatic extraterrestrial scout arrives on a remote Scottish island with unknown intentions.

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Stars: Robert Clarke, Margaret Field, Raymond Bond
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Don Gallico is a master at designing magical illusions which are sold by his employer, Mr. Ormond, to famous magicians such as Rinaldi. He is also a master of disguise and realistic mask ... See full summary »

Director: John Brahm
Stars: Vincent Price, Mary Murphy, Eva Gabor
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lew Ayres ... Dr. Patrick J. Cory
Gene Evans ... Dr. Frank Schratt
Nancy Reagan ... Janice Cory (as Nancy Davis)
Steve Brodie ... Herbie Yocum
Tom Powers ... Donovan's Washington Advisor
Lisa Howard ... Chloe Donovan (as Lisa K. Howard)
James Anderson ... Chief Tuttle (as Kyle James)
Victor Sutherland Victor Sutherland ... Nathaniel Fuller
Michael Colgan Michael Colgan ... Tom Donovan
Peter Adams Peter Adams ... Mr. Webster
Harlan Warde ... Treasury Agent Brooke
Shimen Ruskin ... Tailor
Edit

Storyline

Dr. Patrick "Pat" J. Cory is researching brains with his assistant and friend Dr. Frank Schratt and his wife Janice Cory through experiments with monkeys in a laboratory in his house. When an airplane crashes nearby his house, there is only one near-death survivor, the millionaire Warren H. Donovan that is brought still alive to his care. However Donovan dies and Dr. Cory decides to use his brain in his experiment keeping it alive in a tank. Pat, Schratt and Janice research about the life of Donovan and they discover that he was a ruthless and evil man. Soon Donovan's brain imposes his personality to Dr. Cory and possesses him to get rid of his enemies and to live again in his body. Schratt and Janice sees the transformation of Dr. Cory and plan to destroy the brain. Will they succeed in their intent? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

MGM Studios [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 September 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Donovans Hirn See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Dowling Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The sign on the door of the attorney's office includes a "B. Chapman, CPA." Ben Chapman was the film's production supervisor. See more »

Goofs

At one point, Frank (Gene Evans) states "Pat made that recording while the brain was destroying Yocum." However, in the final edited version of the movie, Pat (Dr. Cory, played by Lew Ayres) makes his recording several days before Yocum is killed. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Patrick J. Cory: I think someday you'll be as famous as Madame Eve Curie.
Janice Cory: We'll if I'm as useful to you as she was to her husband, I'll settle for that.
Dr. Patrick J. Cory: You're just as useful and lots prettier.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Car 54, Where Are You?: Change Your Partner (1961) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

May I Borrow Your Brain, Please
1 August 2011 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Well-crafted sci-fi with minimal special effects. Of course, the premise of a disembodied brain taking thought control of its master has kicked around more than a few times. However, this is arguably the best version, thanks to a tight screenplay and a fine central performance. Ayers must go from nice guy doctor to tyrannical business tycoon whenever the evil brain takes control. And he does both in highly convincing fashion—sure a long way from young Dr. Kildare. Nancy Davis (Reagan) also delivers as the loyal wife. Her films may never have been very distinguished, but she was always a credible low-key performer. Note also that usual tough guy Gene Evans gets the thankless "Igor" role as the lab assistant.

I guess I could have done with fewer close-ups of the pulsating brain. Unfortunately, the effect comes across in fairly hokey 50's fashion. Then too, that all-out thunder and lightning sequence amounts to more than just a storm. Instead , it looks more like a rage in heaven, like someone above is really angry at what's going on below. The heavy-handed theatrics is really out of sync with what's gone before. Despite the two drawbacks, the overall result is better than expected, thanks to the A-grade performances in a B-grade movie.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 36 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed