Daughter of the Mind (1969)

Article 2043 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-18-2006
Posting Date: 3-17-2007
Directed by Walter Grauman
Featuring Don Murray, Ray Milland, Gene Tierney

When a professor begins seeing visions of his deceased daughter, he calls in a parapsychologist to help him figure it out.

This movie starts out as a fairly ordinary but mildly interesting ghost story, but twenty minutes into the movie, the ghost tells the professor that she won’t come back if he continues the work he’s doing, and we discover that he’s been (unbeknownst to him) working for the military. At this point, the sense that the movie is going to move out of the realm of the supernatural becomes overpowering. The movie goes on for about another fifty minutes before it drops the other shoe, but it’s a credit to the filmmakers that this part of the movie is quite interesting anyways. It does three things very well; it plays up the mystery of whether the events are supernatural or not; it tries to figure out how certain events were faked (if they were indeed faked), and it sets up a tense dramatic situation by putting the parapsychologist under a tough timeline by which he must either prove the events in question were faked, or betray either his friend or his country. Once the other shoe drops, the rest of the movie is pretty conventional, and even if it moves away from the supernatural, it does move into the realm of science fiction a little. Overall, not a bad little movie, but once it’s all over, you’ll be spotting quite a few of the plot holes. Still, this one works more than it doesn’t.


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