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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Felix E. Feist
USA 19
53

 

Newly Remastered in HD! This Brain Has Some Ideas Of Its Own! Prepare to be scared senseless with this shocking horror-fest that's bursting with startling special effects. Lew Ayers (All Quiet on the Western Front) stars with Gene Evans (The Steel Helmet), Steve Brodie (Out of the Past) and future first lady Nancy Reagan Davis (Hellcats of the Navy) in this terrifying film experience that'll blow your brain and fry your mind. Dr. Patrick Corey (Ayres) has a hideous hobby - he keeps brains alive! So when the brain of dead murderer W.H. Donovan falls into his possession, bringing him back to life becomes his obsession. But the cunning cranium has its own agenda - to control the doctor's mind through telepathic messages! Now, Cory's wife (Davis) must put a stop to the devious brain before it destroys the man she loves - and her in the process! Directed by Felix E. Feist (The Big Trees) and beautifully shot in glorious black-and-white by the great Joseph F. Biroc (It's a Wonderful Life).

***

Hey isn't that Nancy Regan? This film is far better than you might initially expect. It actually encouraged weak imitators like The Brain that Wouldn't Die. It has all the fun qualities of a 50's Drive-In flick with elements of Film Noir sprinkled in. Lew Ayres is no Olivier, but gets the job done here in this version of Curt Siodmak's novel about a basically honorable scientist who tinkers with the brain of a ruthless dead millionaire (Donovan). Consumed with the experimentation value he illegally keeps the brain alive in a (fish) tank. Through ESP, Donovan manages to impose his powerful will on the scientist, and uses him to advance his persona and plot the demise of his old enemies. I have a noted soft-spot for these films, but I am telling you that this one is not 'good because its bad' its simply good.

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 30th, 1953

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Comparison:

MGM - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

   

   

   

Distribution MGM - Region 1- NTSC Kino Lorber
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:23:33  1:23:55.155  
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.8 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 18,514,507,061 bytes

Feature: 17,779,193,856 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 24.88 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUB: Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0) 

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1564 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1564 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps

Subtitles French, Spanish, None None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: MGM Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Trailer (1:58)

DVD Release Date: June 5th, 2001

Keep Case
Chapters: 16

Release Information:
Studio: Kino Lorber

 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 18,514,507,061 bytes

Feature: 17,779,193,856 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 24.88 Mbps


Edition Details:
• 
Audio Commentary by Film Historian Richard Harland Smith

• "Trailers From Hell" with Joe Dante (2:41)

• Trailers Donovan's Brain (2:02), The Black Sleep (1:36), The Magnetic Monster (2:21)
 

Standard Blu-ray case

Blu-ray Release Date: March 22nd, 2016

Chapters: 9

 

 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were obtained directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

ADDITION: Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray March 16': The higher resolution improvement is obvious by looking at the captures - more detail, beautifully consistent grain, brighter, tighter, layered contrast... and some depth. Smooth and pleasing in-motion.

 

Kino transferred the audio in a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1564 kbps (16-bit) in the original English. Effects are modest but still shine through in the lossless. Music in the film is composed by Eddie Dunstedter (his only feature film score) and it has a few atmospheric moments. There are no subtitles and the Blu-ray disc is region 'A'-locked.

 

Another thoroughly enjoyable audio commentary by film historian Richard Harland Smith giving essential, amusing and educational input on Donovan's Brain. It adds immense value. There is also a short "Trailers From Hell" sequence with Joe Dante as well as trailers for Donovan's Brain, The Black Sleep, and The Magnetic Monster.

 

On my 'Re-watchable' shelf and I have a special place for Donovan's Brain in my digital library, I could watch this in loops... I just adore the concept. With the Harland Smith commentary this Blu-ray get our highest recommendation!

 

NOTE: I've added a few more captures saluting the former First Lady (R.I.P.) who initiated one of her more notable proclamations with her role in this film - coining the phrase "Just DON'T... steal brains".

***

ON THE DVD: This isn't too bad - many of these MGM 'Midnite Movies' seem to be of acceptable quality. No tinkering or manipulations and I see a bit of film grain. No English subtitles, but French and Spanish and a Spanish DUB are offered. Black levels are a little light, but contrast otherwise is okay. I can't imagine this film ever getting restored so as long as the source print has not been monkeyed with, we have a decent image. No extras, but I can't surmise what they could have included unless asking one of my colleagues to write an essay in the liner notes or something. Humorous seeing the future Mrs. Reagan - another prime cinema genre example of those pulpy drive-in films that are very reasonably priced. Why wouldn't you want to own this? I watch it twice a year.  out of  

Gary W. Tooze

 





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1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

 

 


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1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

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1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


More Blu-ray captures


Box Covers

   

   

   

Distribution MGM - Region 1- NTSC Kino Lorber
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray
 


 



 

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