The Lady and the Monster

1944

Horror / Sci-Fi / Thriller

0
IMDb Rating 5.7 10 334

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
December 18, 2021 at 05:33 PM

Director

Cast

Sidney Blackmer as Eugene Fulton
Erich von Stroheim as Prof. Franz Mueller
Juanita Quigley as Mary Lou
720p.BLU
790.47 MB
1280*932
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 26 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer 6 / 10

Unfortunately titled, but it IS a good film...

A short way into this film I realized that it is the same film that remade as "Donovan's Brain" (with Lew Ayers)--a very good movie. "The Lady and the Monster" is the original version of this story but based on the title you'd never know it--after all, there really is no monster in the film and it's not exactly a horror film...not exactly.

Erich Von Stroheim of all people plays the lead in this film. He's a not exactly mad scientist who has weird theories about keeping a brain alive after death--on the other hand, he sure ain't normal! He is a guardian for a rather hysterical young lady who is a bad actress (Vera Ralston--who was apparently sleeping with the head of the studio). And, he has an assistant (Richard Arlen) who can't make up his mind about the ethics of Von Stroheim's work.

One day, an actual human subject falls into Von Stroheim's lap, so to speak. There was an accident and he was called in to treat the victims--one of which was a rich and powerful man, Mr. Donovan. He and Arlen 'borrow' the brain when Donovan dies--unethical, sure, but probably not a bad thing...or is it?! The experiment turns out to be a great success--the brain is kept alive for many days. However, something weird happens--the brain begins to show amazing powers--powers to control Arlen and Von Stroheim!

As I said above, this isn't exactly a horror film. While it has some elements, the story is a but more understated and the scientists aren't quite mad enough to qualify it as a horror film. I think of it more as 'horror lite'. I enjoyed the film, for the most part, but also think the film needed a bit more polish and a few changes. The biggest problem was Ralston's character. Throughout much of the early part of the film she seemed really high-strung and went on and on about how horrible Von Stroheim was---even though he hadn't really done anything yet! It just made little sense--nor did her usual bizarre delivery of her lines. Apart from that the film was good but did seem to meander a bit here and there. As a result, and I RARELY say this, I really think the remake was a better film--and with a much more appropriate title.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 7 / 10

The Brain of a malignant and vicious millionaire

The Lady And The Monster is a misnomer of a title in that no other world or unearthly creatures will be found here. The monster in this film is the brain of a malignant and vicious millionaire who is killed in a plane crash and has his brain removed by scientist Erich Von Stroheim. Von Stroheim and his assistant Richard Arlen put the brain in a saline solution and keep it alive with electricity. Just the brain mind you, they're not reconstructing human beings as Dr. Frankenstein was.

But Walter Donovan was a real piece of work even for a miser. He's got his assets carefully hidden so that wife Helen Vinson and her lawyer Sidney Blackmer don't know where they are. And he's got a son in William Henry in prison who doesn't know he's Donovan's kid.

In fact everyone has an agenda here. Vera Hruba Ralston who is Von Stroheim's nurse wants Arlen. But Arlen is taken over by the brain which through Von Stroheim's experiments has developed tremendous telepathic powers and as it grows stronger controls Arlen more and more.

This film is the first one based on Curt Siodmark's novel Donovan's Brain. It's been remade twice since. In the version with Lew Ayres in Arlen's part, the brain has a truly ambitious plan for world domination with stock and currency manipulation. Here the brain is just working on settling some old scores.

Just the fact that Von Stroheim is cast as the evil scientist meant that audiences knew exactly what to expect when they bought their tickets. He's his usual hateful self as he always was except in Sunset Boulevard.

The Lady And The Monster is one of Republic Pictures better products from the Forties, a real nice low budget thriller. By the way take note of Mary Nash as Von Stroheim's housekeeper. She's the one who saves the world from Donovan's Brain.

Reviewed by mark.waltz 8 / 10

One of Republic's best; Definitely the only Vera Hruba Ralston classic!

...And she still has the worst line delivery in screen history!

Perhaps it was the melodramatic performance of Erich Von Stroheim or the strange set or the way this "A" feature from a "B-" studio was filmed. Perhaps it is because it is a more detailed film of "Donovan's Brain" with excellent character development and even better story telling than the good United Artists remake from just nine years later.

So somewhere in the Arizona desert is a gloomy looking mansion where doctors Erich Von Stroheim and Richard Arlen are doing experiments on animals to see if their brains continue to work after the animal's heart has stopped beating and they have been pronounced dead. A monkey dying of lymphoma is experimented on, and the brain continues to thrive for an hour after the poor cute little creature has passed on. This inspires the bellowing Von Stroheim to take the step further: to try it on a human! He has his hands full, being domineering to his nurse (Ralston) who is in love with Von Stroheim's assistant (Richard Arlen) whom Von Stroheim considers unworthy of her. A convenient plane crash gives Von Stroheim an excuse to interrupt Arlen and Ralston's date, sending them to the sight of the crash to retrieve the dead body of a passenger (named Donovan, an alleged financial wizard) for an autopsy. Realizing that while Donovan is dead, his brain is still functioning makes Von Stroheim decided to remove the brain for further experimentation in hopefully using this for the good of society to keep the great deeds and words of great men going. But was Donovan really the great man they believe? A visit from his widow opens up that can of worms, and Arlen is soon used as a vessel to bring Donovan's spirit back to life, not necessarily a good thing.

It's easy to see why Herbert J. Yates, the head of Republic Studios, thought he could make a silk purse actress out of a sow's ear non-actress, as Ralston is very photogenic here, but unfortunately, that never transfers onto the screen as either great acting or star quality. She's very hesitant in taking chances, and as a result, comes off bland and unsure of herself. Making matters worse is pairing her opposite two film veterans from the silent era. Arlen, still handsome, is very good in going between his noble assistant and the increasingly evil Donovan, while Von Stroheim blasts his lines as if he was Harry James or Glenn Miller leading their bands. Mary Nash, as Von Stroheim's Mrs. Danvers like housekeeper, gives a slow volcanic rising performance, initially cool and dark, and as she begins to see the sinister things rising around her, daring to stand up to Von Stroheim in some shocking ways. Helen Vinson, as Donovan's widow, and Sidney Blackmer, as her attorney lover, are also memorable in their smaller roles, but the screaming Juanita Quigley as a young girl involved in a plot twist involving Donovan, is majorly annoying.

Aided by excellent photography, lighting and the genuinely ghoulish atmosphere, this thriller has enough of an edge to keep you hooked, and for that reason, I rate it two stars higher than its better known 1950's remake. Von Stroheim keeps in character throughout, manages to emote over dramatically without somehow becoming too campy or over-the-top, and Arlen gives it a true touch of class. Even with the complete non-acting of Vera Hruba Ralston, the film stays devoted to its theme of how mankind should not interfere in extending life beyond its expiration date, and how when they do, it turns out to be a complete disaster for everybody involved.

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