Saturday, July 10, 2010

DONOVAN'S BRAIN - Eddie Dunstedter - I Saw Mommy Kissing A Brain (1953)

There are very few classic 50's movies that we've haven't showcased here already, but tonight's freak show is one I've been holding on to for some special occasion, and since the honorary president of The Girl Scouts of America, Nancy Davis's birthday was just 4 days ago, I do believe the tide is high for "Donovan's Brain" to make it's grimy little appearance!

Nancy Davis, here as Janice Cory, married President-to-be Ronald Reagan the year prior to making this movie, and after the way she gets treated in this film by her husband, Lew Ayres as Dr. Patrick J. Cory, I'm sure Ronald was a breath of fresh air. A lot of people don't know that Nancy was already 3 months pregnant when her and Ron tied the knot!

Lew Ayres was a very interesting character for a number of reasons! He was a big band pianist before getting into the movies, a conscientious objector during the war, an action that didn't win him any fans at all, and almost completely destroyed his career, even though he did serve under fire as a medic, and he is buried in Los Angeles next to Frank Zappa, of all people!

Ain't it funny that both Ronnie and Nancy made movies with monkeys? Once they got into politics, it would be standard operating procedure!

The composer of the music for "Donovan's Brain" was Eddie Dunstedter, who was also a songwriter and musician, but who is known mostly for his incredible organ, and his renditions of classic X-Mas songs!!

Why is it that brilliant scientists don't know how to do basic things like wash their car?

Sacrifices have to be made in the name of science, and so sadly, Nancy's little pal gets turned into cream of brain in formaldehyde soup!

Methinks that Eddie got the job, because after all, the brain is an organ too!

So just in case for some unknown reason you have never seen this film, the bottom line is there was a rich guy named Donovan in an airplane crash, and all they could salvage of his existence was his brain, and since they were working on brain out of body experiments anyway, up rose the prefect opportunity! Co-Star Gene Evans as drunken lout Dr. Frank Schratt still has enough wits about him to question the whole thing! Gene Evans was possibly in every cowboy TV show in the 50's and 60's, many times in recurring roles including 39 episodes of the Saturday morning series, "My Friend Flicka" as Rob McLaughlin!

Just to see Nancy in a shot with a brain is good enough for me!!

Gene decides to make his bid for Vice President!!

BEX62677 - Madison 1234 - Yellow 1001! They're trying to tell us something, can you figure out what it is?

Bank Manager John Hamilton was none other than Perry White in 102 episodes of the TV show, "Adventures of Superman!"

Gene and Nancy can't believe that Mr. Donovan's brain has remotely but completely taken over Dr. Cory, but it's true, I tell you!!

When he attempts to shut off the juice to the brain, Gene finds the good stuff!!

This one is dedicated to A Daft Scots Lass because we like to make people quiver!!

Twin beds for married couples seem criminally unjust until you get punched in your sleep a couple of times!! Married couples in twin beds always makes me think of "The Dick Van Dyke Show," and who would be the one to make the move?

By this time in the film, Dr. Cory is dressing exactly like Mr. Donovan, and smoking his same brand of cigars. Believe it or not, people are starting to get suspicious!

The creepy lighting throughout the whole feature is deftly provided by genius Cinematograper Joseph F. Biroc. At this point Nancy has had enough, just can't take it anymore, and decides to answer her true calling as First Lady of the United States!


TABONGA! said...

Seems like Channel 47 out of Fresno played this one once a month from 1953 into the 1960's. A lot of movies were Donovan's Brain inspired, the awesome Mr. Curt (THE WOLF MAN) Siodmak wrote the story.

Prof. Grewbeard said...

i have yet to see this film.

i punched someone in my sleep once, while i was actually dreaming that i was trying to protect her from a mugger!...

zillagord said...

Hope one day I'll be known for my incredible organ...

Christopher said...

I've known of this film all my life,but can't honestly say if I've seen it or not..
I didn't know I talked in my sleep(always remember the faces of other women,never their names!),nor grinded my teeth.. until I was married for awhile..

Greg Goodsell said...

My favorite film starring a wife of Ronald Reagan's remains ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS with Jane Wyman.

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Ronald Reagan's remains? That wasn't his brain!

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