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Brainstorm (1983)

Brilliant researchers Lillian Reynolds and Michael Brace have developed a system of recording and playing back actual experiences of people. Once the capability of tapping into "higher ... See full summary »

Director:

Douglas Trumbull

Writers:

Bruce Joel Rubin (story), Robert Stitzel (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,435 ( 1,606)

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ON DISC
2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Bill Morey ... James Zimbach
Jason Lively ... Chris Brace
Darrell Larson ... Security Technician
Lou Walker ... Chef
Stacey Kuhne-Adams Stacey Kuhne-Adams ... Andrea
John Hugh John Hugh ... Animal Lab Technician
Ira David Wood III ... Barry (as David Wood)
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Storyline

Brilliant researchers Lillian Reynolds and Michael Brace have developed a system of recording and playing back actual experiences of people. Once the capability of tapping into "higher brain functions" is added in, and you can literally jump into someone else's head and play back recordings of what he or she was thinking, feeling, seeing, etc., at the time of the recording, the applications for the project quickly spiral out of control. While Michael Brace uses the system to become close again to Karen Brace, his estranged wife who also works on the project, others start abusing it for intense sexual experiences and other logical but morally questionable purposes. The government tries to kick Michael and Lillian off the project once the vast military potential of the technology is discovered. It soon becomes obvious that the government is interested in more than just missile guidance systems. The lab starts producing mind torture recordings and other psychosis inducing material. When ... Written by Eric van bezooijen <eric@webmethods.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

...The Ultimate Experience See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 September 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Gordon Forbes Tapes See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,196,965, 2 October 1983, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$8,900,000
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Natalie Wood died before filming was complete, thus the ending had to be constructed from scenes shot earlier. The film was dedicated to her memory. See more »

Goofs

When Michael gets home from work at the beginning, he walks into his bedroom and turns on the light. Before the light comes on, the wall where the switch is, is illuminated by outside light. This light disappears an instant before the room light comes on. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Crazy Credits

After the final credit has rolled, 'TO NATALIE' appears for a couple seconds See more »

Connections

Referenced in Stars of the Silver Screen: Natalie Wood (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

Difficult, but Talented
29 December 2003 | by cubdukatSee all my reviews

First off, let's get a few things out of the way:

Yes, "Brainstorm" is marred by uneven acting and the death of its lead actress, Natalie Wood, under circumstances that to this day are still the stuff of speculation.

Yes, Louise Fletcher's death scene is overacted to the point of parody.

Yes, it's not easy to accept Christoper Walken in a role of a semi-normal person.

Yes, "Brainstorm" was only Douglas Trumbull's second film as a director, and some might argue that it was little better than "Silent Running."

But, even despite all of that, the story is incredibly engaging, the visuals are striking (what else would you expect from the wizard responsible for "2001" and "Blade Runner"?), James Horner's music is absolutely divine, and the film is quite enjoyable.

Also, in its favor, a great deal of the credit (or blame, as many would say) for the final result lies squarely with MGM/UA. Still dealing with United Artists' financial baggage after their merger, the company all but took the film away from Trumbull after Wood's death--not to mention the studio's lack of support for Trumbull's plan to film the "helmet" sequences in his ultra-realistic Showscan process.

So, in point, I highly recommend this movie, but just be aware of what you're getting into...


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