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Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Donovan's Brain (1953)

Starring Lew Ayres, Gene Evans, Nancy Davis, Steve Brodie, Tom Powers
Directed by Felix Feist
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

After failing to save a wealthy man's life, a scientist steals his brain for further research, unsuspecting of the power it will soon wield over him.

One of several film adaptations of Hollywood screenwriter Curt Siodmak's novel of the same name, this is probably the best of the bunch, featuring a strong performance by Ayres as the kindly scientist whose mind is taken over by the brain and transformed into a ruthless industrialist.  Gene Evans and future First Lady Nancy Davis (Reagan) are good in supporting roles, and Feist and crew cleverly expand the brain's size when it's advancing its evil agenda, and shrink it back down when dormant, accompanied by appropriate sound effects.

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