Donovan's Brain

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 11


Audience Score

User Ratings: 124
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Movie Info

Based on the novel by Curt Siodmak, this horror film follows scientist Dr. Patrick J. Cory's (Lew Ayres) discovery of a method to keep disembodied brains alive. However, when Cory gets a hold of the brain of a ruthless businessman who was killed in a plane crash, the brain takes on a power of its own and threatens to take control of the body and actions of the scientist.


Lew Ayres
as Dr. Patrick Cory
Nancy Reagan
as Janice Cory
Gene Evans
as Dr. Frank Schratt
Lisa Howard
as Chloe Donovan
Tom Powers
as Advisor
Michael Colgan
as Tom Donovan
Kyle James
as Ranger Chief Tuttle
Stapleton Kent
as W.J. Higgins
Peter Adams
as Mr. Webster
Victor Sutherland
as Nathaniel Fuller
John Hamilton
as Mr. MacNish
Harlan Warde
as Mr. Booke
Paul Hoffman
as Mr. Smith
Tony Merrill
as Hotel Desk Clerk
Faith Langley
as Receptionist
Mark Lowell
as Supply Company Clerk
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Critic Reviews for Donovan's Brain

All Critics (11) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (5)

Audience Reviews for Donovan's Brain

  • Dec 31, 2010
    PAM'S QUICK TAKES - <B>JUST A QUICKIE</B> <div style="width:300px;"><a href=""><img src="" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href=""></a></div></div> <I>DONOVAN'S BRAIN</I> (1953) For a straightforward, American 1950's sci-fi/ horror flick, <I>Donovan's Brain</I> is tops. It's a solid adaptation of the novel by Curt Siodmak. A scientist keeps a dead man's brain alive and the dead man gains telekinetic powers enabling him to possess the scientist and live though him. The movie is crisply photographed, nicely shot and fun to watch. Unlike a lot of '50's sci-fi it is not silly and campy, except perhaps, from a retrospective point of view of '50's sci-fin in general. (Obviously, an enlarged, pulsing, naughty brain in a glorified fish tank summons a little mirth, but one must consider the context of sci-fi at the time.) The dialogue is pretty good and the story is well-paced. While a dark, updated treatment with modern special effects could certainly knock the original out of the water, this 1953 piece is still a viable, entertaining effort. <I>Donvan's Brain</I> is currently streaming on Flixster, and it's a good watch for any sci-fi fan.
    Pamela D Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2010
    A pretty good movie which mixes elements of different horror/ sci-fi mad scientist movies. I liked it for the most part.
    Aj V Super Reviewer

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