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


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 begin 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 to 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.


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.