Change of Mind (1969)

Article #1342 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-16-2004
Posting Date: 4-15-2005
Directed by Robert Stevens
Featuring Raymond St. Jacques, Susan Oliver, Janet MacLachlan

A white man has his brain transplanted into the body of a black man, and then must adjust to the changes this makes in his life.

This is one of those premises that could easily go in a very obvious direction, and I went into the movie hoping that it would do more than just go in that direction. Fortunately, the movie is somewhat more sophisticated than that. It doesn’t just exploit the issues of racism; it tries to look at it from a variety of different angles, and also explores other issues on the side, such as the way that simply being in another person’s body can be an interesting experience. The acting is very good throughout, and it was nice to see Leslie Nielsen in one of his earlier roles that didn’t use him merely as a familiar face. I’m less impressed with the direction, but at least it dispenses with the shaky hand-held camera scenes after the first fifteen minutes. The movie never really becomes compelling (it’s a bit too muted for that), but it does remain interesting.

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