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The Brain (1962)

| Crime, Horror, Drama | 1964 (USA)
A millionaire businessman's brain is kept alive after a fatal accident, and communicates clues to a doctor on the trail of the killer.


Freddie Francis


Robert Banks Stewart (screenplay) (as Robert Stewart), Philip Mackie (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Anne Heywood ... Anna Holt
Peter van Eyck ... Dr. Peter Corrie
Cecil Parker ... Stevenson
Bernard Lee ... Dr. Frank Shears
Jeremy Spenser ... Martin Holt
Maxine Audley ... Marion Fane
Ellen Schwiers ... Ella
Siegfried Lowitz ... Mr. Walters
Hans Nielsen Hans Nielsen ... Immerman
Jack MacGowran ... Furber
Miles Malleson ... Dr. Miller - British version
George A. Cooper ... Thomas Gabler
Ann Sears ... Stevenson's secretary
Irene Richmond Irene Richmond ... Mrs. Gabler


A millionaire businessman's brain is kept alive after a fatal accident, and communicates clues to a doctor on the trail of the killer. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


INSTRUment OF TERROR! (original U.S. release print ad - mostly caps) See more »


Crime | Horror | Drama | Sci-Fi


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UK | West Germany



Release Date:

1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Dead Man Seeks His Murderer See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The character of Thomas Gabler is said to be in his 60s, but was played by a actor in his 40s. See more »


[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was made simultaneously in a German and British version. All actors played their respective roles in both versions, except the actor portraying Dr. Miller. In the German version, Dieter Borsche was cast, Miles Malleson played the part in the British version. The German version also included scenes of a topless Anne Heywood missing from the British print. See more »


Remake of The Lady and the Monster (1944) See more »

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User Reviews

Stodgy story of a disembodied brain seeking justice from beyond the grave
6 March 2015 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

A stodgy retelling of the classic sci-fi novel, DONOVAN'S BRAIN. Disembodied brains were all the rage when this film was made, with the likes of THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE and various Hammer Frankenstein movies playing with the possibility of life after death. However, this being a UK/West Germany co-production, the narrative actually has far more in common with the German krimi genre than a typical sci-fi movie.

The narrative sees a millionaire being blown up in a plane crash, and it soon transpires that there was a bomb on board. Novelty value comes from the millionaire's brain being used to hunt down the culprits responsible, and he does so by possessing the body of the man (Peter van Eyck) keeping him alive.

The sci-fi elements are kept to a minimum here, with the emphasis instead on the murder mystery genre. As with many krimi films, stark black and white photography is the order of the day, with the cast populated by criminals, detectives and femme fatales. Director Freddie Francis contributes atmosphere to the narrative but this is one of his lesser pieces.

The story just doesn't have much in the way of oomph or excitement to it, even though there are a handful of decent moments. There are a couple of familiar faces in the cast, including Miles Malleson and Bernard Lee, but no performances here to get excited about. Definitely a potboiler, this one, and not a decent one either.

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