Pros: Unique, entertaining movie. Steve Martin.
Cons: Will be too different and silly for some viewers.
I've watched several of Steve Martin's movies over the years and I generally like them, even the sillier ones. I recently decided to watch The Man With Two Brains for the first time in several years.
Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr is a renowned brain surgeon who invented a new way of performing brain surgery that involves making a screw top out of the cranium. He still mourns for his dead wife, though is head is turned by the seductive Dolores Benedict. It isn't long before they are married, but he doesn't realize some things about his new bride. She enjoys tormenting him and keeps coming up with reasons why they can't have sex. Michael decides that a trip to a medical conference in Vienna can also serve as a honeymoon. Shortly after arriving, he learns about the Elevator Killer that has been terrorizing the city. He also discovers the truth about Dolores.
Michael meets Dr. Alfred Necessiter, a doctor who seems more like a mad scientist. Dr. Necessiter has been doing research with brains and discovered a way to keep a brain alive outside of a body. Michael is intrigued by the research and then surprised when he is able to communicate with one of the brains, Anne Uumellmahaye. Michael and Anne have an immediate connection and Michael starts trying to find a way they can be together.
I think The Man With Two Brains was influenced by some of the older science fiction or monster movies that had doctors and scientists doing weird experiments. I know that I've seen a few that have involved some sort of brain research. One or two elements from the movie even reminded me slightly of Frankenstein. Even though the movie shares some elements with other movies, I still think the plot is unique overall.
Michael is introduced right away in The Man With Two Brains while doing surgery. It does take a little while before his method for the brain surgery is shared. It doesn't take long for things about his former wife to be shared. Dolores is introduced very early in the movie as well. Her true nature is shown, so the audience knows the truth about her long before Michael does. What goes on between Michael and Dolores is important even though more attention is given to the things going on once they are in Vienna. A few things that happen are a bit predictable without making the movie predictable overall. The elevator killer adds a bit of mystery without taking over the focus of the movie.
Much of what is happening in The Man With Two Brains is rather silly and the movie shouldn't be taken seriously at all. Some people will probably think the movie is too silly. The method for brain surgery that Michael developed is really silly, involving making a screw top on the cranium. That does make for faster surgery, but is just downright absurd. Michael's last name is very unique and almost everyone mispronounces it which adds some humor. Anne, who happens to be able to pronounce his name correctly, also has a very unique name. Dr. Necessiter's research adds more humor once more about that is shared. Even the elevator killer is handled with humor, especially when the killer is revealed. Many things that are done for humor are silly, but the silliness works for the movie.
The relationship between Michael and Dolores is very important to the plot of The Man With Two Brains. Dolores is a scheming woman just looking for money who enjoys tormenting men. She seizes an opportunity with Michael and in time they are married. It is very clear that Michael is sexually attracted to Dolores even though she keeps putting him off. There are several sexual situations throughout the movie even though there aren't any actual sex scenes. A few bare breasts are shown and that is it for nudity. Even though Anne is a brain, there is more depth to the relationship that develops between her and Michael. The word that rhymes with luck is used once or twice and there is other profanity used. The movie is rather mild for an R rated movie, though it really isn't one for kids.
Michael is a well known, successful brain surgeon who created a rather unique way of doing brain surgery. He is intelligent, but he takes a while to figure things out at times and he doesn't always make the best decisions. He's an interesting character and I think that Steve Martin handled the part well. Anne is just a brain in a jar, but she is able to communicate with Michael. She does seem to have a lot in common with him. Sissy Spacek provides the voice for Anne in an uncredited role.
Dolores is a very scheming woman who would get involved with men for money. She enjoys making men miserable and has no problem using her sexuality to manipulate men. She will act all nice and innocent at times if she thinks it will get her what she wants. She is not a nice person at all and Kathleen Turner is wonderful in the part. Dr. Necessiter has been doing brain research for a while and has come up with a way for a brain to stay alive in a jar. The guy does seem to be a bit of a mad scientist with his work. The fact that he has his condo decorated like a castle adds to that feeling. He is a somewhat odd character, but he is interesting. David Warner handled the part well. Other characters, like some of the doctors that Michael works with, are around in a few scenes without having much to do.
Steve Martin - Michael Hfuhruhurr
Sissy Spacek - Voice of Anne
Kathleen Turner - Dolores Benedict
David Warner - Dr. Alfred Necessiter
Carl Reiner - Director
The Man With Two Brains is available on DVD, which I picked up a few years ago. I think I found it in the bin at Walmart for five dollars. My copy has no extras and is the full screen version. I don't know if there is a widescreen version available or a version with extras.
The Man With Two Brains is silly, but it is an entertaining Steve Martin movie. His fans, especially those that like his earlier work, may find something to like about the movie.
Steve Martin Movies
All of Me ~ Bringing Down the House ~ Bowfinger ~ Cheaper by the Dozen ~ Cheaper by the Dozen 2 ~ Dirty Rotten Scoundrels ~ Father of the Bride ~ Father of the Bride Part II ~ Housesitter ~ Looney Tunes: Back in Action ~ Mixed Nuts ~ The Muppet Movie ~ Novocaine ~ Parenthood ~ The Pink Panther ~ The Pink Panther 2 ~ Planes, Trains and Automobiles ~ Roxanne ~