Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

BRAINSTORM (1965)

Jeffrey Hunter
BRAINSTORM (1965). Director: William Conrad.

Jim Grayam (Jeffrey Hunter) discovers a passed out blond named Lorrie (Anne Francis) in a car on the railroad tracks. Saving the woman, he takes her home to her wealthy husband, Cort Benson (Dana Andrews), where it becomes obvious that this is a marriage from Hell. Jim and Lorrie began an affair (incredibly, they seem to think they're being discreet), and Jim is subjected to a campaign of harassment. Then Jim decides that the only way for the couple of be free -- and be free to take care of Lorrie's small daughter -- is to plot a murder ... Brainstorm features a very good performance from the "impossibly" good-looking Hunter [Belles on Their Toes] and isn't badly directed by portly actor William Conrad [Cry Danger]. Francis is more than okay, but Andrews is atypically listless as Benson. Viveca Lindfors, with her Cheshire cat grin, is very effective as a psychiatrist who has to determine Jim's sanity. Mann Rubin's screenplay -- he also wrote An American Dream --  becomes increasingly implausible as it progresses, however. Strother Martin, Kathie Browne, and ham-handed Richard Kiel have smaller roles, and the last two are certainly vivid. Conrad is seen in the background of a hospital as an asylum inmate. Francis and Hunter appeared together as a romantic couple in Dreamboat 13 years earlier.

Verdict: Quite effective lead performance in half-baked melodrama. **1/2.

2 comments:

angelman66 said...

Yes, Hunter was impossibly handsome, a real dreamboat. He was the most compelling on-screen Jesus, with those piercing blue eyes...

William said...

I think the poor guy died of a stroke and fall when he was only in his early forties. Yes, his eyes were his most mesmerizing feature, whether he was Captain Pike, Jesus, or just about anyone.