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The Man who Changed his Mind
The Man who Lived Again

UK 1936
produced by
Gainsborough/Gaumont British
directed by Robert Stevenson
starring Boris Karloff, Anna Lee, John Loder, Frank Cellier, Donald Calthrop, Cecil Parker, Lyn Harding
written by John L.Balderston, Sidney Gilliat, DuGarde Peach

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Surgeon doctor Claire Wyatt (Anna Lee) is offered the job as an assistant by her old mentor at university, doctor Laurience (Boris Karloff), brilliant but slightly over the top brain surgeon, & despite everybody warning her about this man's sinister motives, despite his spooky mansion & his weird (& paralyzed) butler Clayton (Donald Calthrop) she takes the job. When her boyfriend, the young & coming reporter Dick Haslewood (John Loder) snoops around in Laurience's bacground though & comes up with an interesting article, that impresses his father, the immensely rich Lord Haslewood (Frank Cellier) enough to give Laurience sponsorship & an own lab at his research center - but for an exchange, Laurience has to publish the results of his research exclusively in Haslewood's newspaper.

However, when Laurience does his first speech in front of an audience of fellow scientists & tells them about the possibility of exchanging the minds of animals - & even humans - he is ridiculed & booed off the stage. & when Laurience wants to do a self experiment in order to prove his theory, even Claire deserts him. Thing is, Laurience can really do what he claims, & when Lord Haslewoods shows up to humiliate & fire him for the ridiculous spech he has given, Laurience decides it's high times he proves his theories & exchanges tzhe minds of paralyzed Clayton & rich beyond comprehension Haslewood.

& while Haslewood, in Clayton's crippled & slowly deceasing body, dies only minutes after the experiment, Clayton - as Haslewood - soon learns to enjoy the comforts of a vast fortune at his disposal - & of course, he keeps Laurience in his/HAslewood's employ.

Only his son, Dick, seems to notice his father's a changed man, but he has more pressing matters on his mind, as Claire has finally agreed to marry him - much to the dismay of Laurience, who has been secretly in love with Claire as well. Then Clayton changes his mind about his new body though, as Haslewood suffers from a severe heart disease, & he wants to persuade Laurience to transfer his minde into Dick's body, but Laurience refuses. In a fight that ensues, Laurience kills Clayton (in haslewood's body) & leaves sufficient proof about him being the murderer, but lures Dick into his lab to exchange minds with him, in order to inherit the Haslewood fortune, while Dick goes to the gallows in his body for murdering Lord Haslewood.

The mind-exchange even succeeds, but in the meantime Claire has figured out a thing or 2 about whose mind is in whose body, & she arrives at Laurience's lab together with the police, seeing Dick (in Laurience's body) falling out of a window (Laurience wanted to make sure he got rid of his witness at all costs), & she manages to persuade the police to help her undo the mind-exchange (because of having been Laurience's assistant, she - besides Laurience - is the only person how to do it).

The transfer goes well, & Laurience (in his own body again) begs forgiveness of Claire for the error of his ways &, with a dying breath, begs her to destroy his lab ...

 

A stupid (but by far not as confusing as it may sound) mad scientist story, that is told in a very charming & light-hearted way though, carefully directed & graced by great central performances, especially by the ever dependable Boris Karloff & Anna Lee as the spunky scientist's assistant. So, even though you might hate this kind of movies otherwise, you might like this one.

Back in the 30's, director Stevenson would have a reputation of making movies (just like this one) from stupid premises that transcended their stupid storylines & budgetary limitations by far. Unfortunately in later life he moved to America &, after a string of unremarkable movies, hooked up with Disney, which might have been the right decision on a financial level, artistically though his career went onto a downward spiral, as he was relegated to direct such cheesy family-oriented schlock like The Absent Minded Professor, The Love Bug or The Gnome-Mobile. His last film was the Shaggy D.A. in 1976, a horrible sequel to the already horrible The Schaggy Dog.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD