6.5/10
9,817
87 user 38 critic

Brainstorm (1983)

Researchers develop a system where they can jump into people's minds. But when people involved bring their personal problems into the equation, it becomes dangerous - perhaps deadly.

Director:

Douglas Trumbull

Writers:

Bruce Joel Rubin (story), Robert Stitzel (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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 Lillian is recording her death, the tape reel is almost empty and it only records for about 30 seconds. After the funeral, when Brace and Hal are in the lab , the reel on the table is full. Then later, when we see the tape reel in the tape lab, it's almost empty again. 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 »

Alternate Versions

In the psychotic episode sequence when Michael's (Christopher Walken) son Chris (Jason Lively) wears the headset, there's a slight difference between the 70mm version and 35mm version. In the 70mm version of Chris' hallucination when Michael turns on a lever sending presumably an electrical current to Chris' head, the camera cuts to and remains on a shot of a circular device with electricity running through it as we hear Michael say 'Now you're gonna find out it's mine!'. In the 35mm version, the shot arrangement is the same except that it cuts back to a close up of Michael saying the line 'Now you're gonna find out it's mine!'. See more »

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Karen, look at the stars!
23 July 2006 | by kallepisterSee all my reviews

There's something magical about "Brainstorm". If it's the plot, the music, Christoper Walken, i don't know. But this one changed my digital lifestyle.

"Brainstorm" feels like a farsighted dot.com commercial to me, way before the web was won. OK, merchandised mind reading technology. Well, that was a doubtlessly stunning plot. But gee, this guy hooked a mobile (!) PC to some company's intra-net via phone line (!), just like operating a fax machine! Far out, THAT was cool and sensational! I was completely struck, and the next day i got me an acoustic coupling device, "communication software" and online i went, visiting "mailboxes" with my 1MHz IBM compatible. On 300 baud/sec. Or 0,003 MBit in contemporary terminology. The digits dropped in, one by one, and i felt sooo hip. Some months later i was the first person i knew doing online banking, and my friends considered me not hip but eccentric. However, it took me 20 years to actually purchase a mobile PC, because i needed slots slots slots *lol*...

By the time "Brainstorm" was made, being online was for nerds. The technological "atmosphere" held not the faintest haze of what we know now as the world-wide-web, turning the most remote and separate corners of the world into one global village.

The idea of sharing sensual impressions by technical means is not necessarily new, as plenty of sci-fi authors (especially of east-European origin) dealt with that before. "Brainstorm" was just too cool in depicting the consequences of such-alike machinery: elder men going nuts with looped orgasms, children haphazardly checking out tapes with psychotic episodes, deliberately tracked death experiences locked away by military, a black market of ethically questionable contents etc.

We're working on it, i guess. In fact, we're working on everything that mother nature won't supply voluntarily. Weird we are. The only question is: helmets or implants?


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