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: Brainstorm (1965) Is He or Isn't He?  ( 1687 )
cigar joe
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« : March 17, 2017, 04:00:24 AM »

Directed by William Conrad (My Blood Runs Cold (1965), Two on a Guillotine (1965), Naked City TV Series (1958–1963), 77 Sunset Strip TV Series (1958–1964)). himself a veteran actor in Classic Noir, i.e., (The Killers (1946), Body and Soul (1947), Sorry, Wrong Number (1948), Tension (1949), Cry Danger (1951), The Racket (1951), 5 Against the House (1955)). Written by  Mann Rubin (screenplay), and Lawrence B. Marcus (story). Cinematography was by Sam Leavitt (Crime in the Streets (1956), The Defiant Ones (1958), Anatomy of a Murder (1959), The Crimson Kimono (1959), Cape Fear (1962)) and music by George Duning (Gilda (1946) stock music, Blind Spot (1947), The Big Heat (1953), The Lineup (1958), Screaming Mimi (1958), Naked City TV Series (1958–1963));

The film stars Jeffrey Hunter (Fourteen Hours (1951), Man-Trap (1961)) as Jim Grayam, Anne Francis (Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), Girl of the Night (1960)) as Lorrie Benson, Dana Andrews (6 Classic Noir ) as Cort Benson, Viveca Lindfors (Backfire (1950), This Side Of The Law (1950)) as Dr. Larstadt, Kathie Browne (City of Fear (1959)) as Angie DeWitt, and Strother Martin (The Asphalt Jungle (1950), Scandal Sheet (1952), Kiss Me Deadly (1955), The Big Knife (1955), Harper (1966)) as Mr. Clyde.

Jim Grayam (Hunter), a brilliant moon rocket systems research analyst for Benson Industries "an Einstein from the East", is driving back from the lab in the San Fernando Valley late at night. He comes upon a car parked upon a railroad crossing.

Inside the car is a beautiful woman Lorrie Benson (Francis). A train is fast approaching the doors are locked and the woman is not responding to his frantic attempts to awaken her. Grayam in desperation grabs a rock, breaks the window, and drives off the crossing just before the streamliner roars through.

Jim Grayam (Hunter)

train's a-coming

He opens her purse, checks her I.D. finds out her name is Lorrie Benson and that she lives in Beverly Hills. He drives her to her hilltop mansion.


"your wife tried to commit suicide"

"everything that belongs to me stays mine."
 Cort Benson (Dana Andrews ) and  Lorrie Benson (Anne Francis)

When Lorrie comes to she announces that she finally got the courage up to attempt suicide. She is distraught because her husband is a manipulating sadist. "everything that belongs to me stays mine." Cort Benson (Andrews) her husband and Jim's boss, offers Jim a reward of $1,000 for saving his wife's life. Jim rejects the money. Tell his boss at the lab that "he likes to earn his money, not stumble upon it by accident." Lorrie call him up thanking him for the other night and telling Jim that he really shook up her husband who she states "thought everyone had a price tag."

When Lorrie begins to take a serious shine to Jim, Cort begins a campaign of discreditation (has a woman claim that he has been making obscene phone calls) and subterfuge that questions Jim's mental stability that actually does have some basis from an incident from Jim's past. It appears to his coworkers that he's having a nervous breakdown.

obscene phone calls

The Company orders that Jim is evaluated by Dr. Elizabeth Larstadt (Lindfors), a therapist. She does some tests and finds him to have a volatile personality. Jim figures that he'll outsmart them all and begins a personal campaign to fake temporary insanity so that he can murder Benson, in a sort of demented impulse, escape the murder charge and have Lorrie and her millions to himself.

Dr. Elizabeth Larstadt (Lindfors)

Arrested, charged, tried, and declared insane he's shipped off to a mental institution whose head headshrinker is Dr. Elizabeth Larstadt. Thinking now that he'll play along with Larstadt and gradually convince her that he's cured, Jim is stunned when Lorrie comes to visit the institution and tells him that she can't see him anymore.  He is then really sent off the deep end to Noirsville when he watches her embrace and kiss her husband's chauffeur through a barred window.


The Claw Hand

Mr. Clyde (Martin)

The Claw Hand Redux

Cort Benson (Andrews)

Screencaps are from the Warner's On Demand DVD, Conrad delivers a straightforward noir tale with a few stylistic flourishes 7/10.

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
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