The Lady and the Monster (1944)

Article #239 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 11-10-2001
Posting date: 3-26-2002

Scientists doing experiments with keeping brains alive illegally remove the brain of an unscrupulous industrialist named Donovan.

Not to be confused with THE MONSTER AND THE GIRL, this is the earliest adaptation of Siodmak’s “Donovan’s Brain”. It is much more horror-oriented than the more famous version from the fifties, with Dr. Mueller (Erich von Stroheim) a much madder scientist than anyone in the remake, and the setting is in a castle versus that of an ordinary home with a laboratory. It’s interesting to compare the two; whereas Corey was the main scientist in the later version, here he is Stroheim’s assistant. Erich von Stroheim is a lot of fun, as might be expected, but he seemed a little unnecessary to me, though his presence does contribute to a better motivated ending to the move than the “hand of God” ending of the later version. Vera Hruba Ralston is on hand as the girlfriend of Corey, and she is quite awful, though I love her reaction everytime someone mentions a Gigli saw. All in all, the movie is OK, but I do prefer the Lew Ayres version.

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