Brain Donors (1992)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Brain Donors is a game attempt to redo the Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera in a contemporary setting. John Turturro plays the "Groucho" character, a shifty lawyer (he's even given a Grouchoesque three-barrelled moniker). Bob Nelson is the "Harpo" counterpart, a puckish handyman. And Mel Smith completes the trio as a Chico-like cabbie. All three conspire to save a failing ballet company on behalf of dowager Nancy Marchand, who does a film-length impersonation of Margaret Dumont. At times, Pat Proft's script comes off more like a 3 Stooges short than a Marx Brothers romp, but that's not so bad. What hurts the film is its fluctuating pace, which shifts into neutral just when it should go into hyperdrive. Will Vinton's Claymation opening titles supply some of the film's biggest laughs.
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In Theaters:
Paramount Home Video

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John Turturro
as Roland T. Flakfizer
Bob Nelson
as Jacques
Mel Smith
as Rocco
Nancy Marchand
as Lillian
George De La Pena
as The Great Volare
Teri Copley
as Blonde
Irene Olga Lopez
as Pedestrian
Anita Dangler
as Usherette
Charlotte Zucker
as Woman with Program
Max Alexander
as L.A. Stage Manager
Dick Corman
as Theatre Janitor
Jim Smith
as Stage Hand
Dennis Dugan
as Stage Hand
Eddie Griffin
as Messenger
Jason Ross-Azikiwe
as Precinct Cop
Charles Dugan
as N.Y. Stage Manager
Barbara Schillaci
as Stuffy Patron
Eric Poppick
as Chauffeur
Gary Grossman
as Father
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Critic Reviews for Brain Donors

All Critics (9)

Weird reworking of Night at the Opera that's more peculiar than successful.

December 4, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Someone needed to donate one to this director.

August 16, 2002

The jokes come so frequently you won't even have time to sneer at the lame ones. And yeah, a lot of 'em are kinda lame. John Turturro is, however, a man possessed.

July 25, 2002

Quote not available.

August 16, 2005

Quote not available.

March 29, 2004
Aisle Seat

Quote not available.

June 3, 2003
Film Freak Central

Audience Reviews for Brain Donors


This shows how the Three Stooges were comedic geniuses - you cannot just get three people acting like total jackasses together and expect it be funny. Timing is everything (no matter how lowbrow the humor), and if you dont have it naturally, then at least a director could help. No help here, apparently. This also reinforces by belief that The Stupids is a work of genius, because its apparently not that easy to be ridiculously zany, but still be genuinely funny.


Critics usually suck and they prove it again here. Mindless stupidity sells! Don't like to see yourselves on screen? I see next to no connection to the Marx Brothers' movie but who cares? The musical number in the jail cell is professional, moving, high caliber talent on display

D Garce
D Garce

Every Marx brothers movie condensed into one hell of a zany adventure. This movie is gut bustingly funny.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

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