The Man with Two Brains (1983)

The Man with Two Brains (1983)

Recently widowed Doctor Michael Hfuhruhurr, the world’s greatest neurosurgeon, injures Dolores Benedict in a car accident. He operates on her and saves her life using a technique of his own invention: cranial screw-top brain entry.

As Benedict recovers, Hfuhruhurr falls in love with her and they are soon married. However, Benedict is only interested in Hfuhruhurr’s money and Hfuhruhurr still yearns for his previous wife. They travel to Vienna to attend a medical conference where Hfuhruhurr finally divorces Dolores, meets a mysterious Doctor Alfred Necessiter and becomes entangled in a series of murders committed by The Elevator Killer.

The Man with Two Brains is a 1983 American science fiction comedy film directed by Carl Reiner and starring Steve Martin and Kathleen Turner. Written by Martin, Reiner and George Gipe, the film is a broad comedy, with Martin starring as Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr, a pioneering neurosurgeon with a cruel and unfaithful new wife, Dolores Benedict (Kathleen Turner).

The Man with Two Brains (1983)

About the Story

Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr (Steve Martin), a widowed brain surgeon, is renowned for inventing a method of “cranial screw-top” brain surgery. He saves the life of Dolores Benedict (Kathleen Turner), a gold-digging femme fatale who is accidentally run over by Michael when fleeing the scene of her latest husband’s fatal coronary (which her malicious mind-games and scheming caused).

As she recovers, Michael falls in love and they marry. From the moment he carries her over the threshold, Dolores torments Michael by pretending to be too ill to consummate the marriage, citing a continuing headache. On a honeymoon and business trip to a medical conference in Vienna, a city living in fear of the serial “Elevator Killer,” Hfuhruhurr meets mad scientist Dr. Alfred Necessiter (David Warner), who has created a radical new technique enabling him to store living brains in liquid-filled jars using the Elevator Killer’s victims (Necessiter stating that he is not the Killer but the Killer’s method of murder causes the brain to die last, making his victims ideal for Necessiter’s experiments).

Michael discovers he can communicate telepathically with one of Necessiter’s brains, that of Anne Uumellmahaye (uncredited voice by Sissy Spacek). Michael and the disembodied brain immediately fall in love, with Michael taking the brain away to spend more time with it. Dolores – having learned that Michael has just received an inheritance from an aunt – attempts to reignite their relationship, but catches on to his relationship with Anne when she spots him in a rowboat with the jar. She attempts to kill Anne by putting the brain in an oven, causing Michael to literally toss Dolores out of his house.

Michael consults with Dr. Necessiter, who informs him that brains in tanks do not actually survive for long, with Anne being his longest-living one to date. Necessiter recommends transplanting Anne’s brain into a new body, revealing that he has perfected a process that could allow him to implant the brain into a gorilla. After giving this idea serious consideration for several seconds, Michael replies, “I couldn’t fuck a gorilla!” This leaves him with only the option of placing Anne’s brain in the body of a recently deceased woman.

The Man with Two Brains Movie Poster (1983)

The Man with Two Brains (1983)

Directed by: Carl Reiner
Starring: Steve Martin, Kathleen Turner, David Warner, Paul Benedict, Richard Brestoff, James Cromwell, Peter Hobbs
Screenplay by: George Gipe, Steve Martin
Production Design by: Mark W. Mansbridge, Polly Platt
Cinematography by: Michael Chapman
Film Editing by: Bud Molin
Set Decoration by: Bruce A. Gibeson
Art Direction by: Mark W. Mansbridge
Music by: Joel Goldsmith
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: June 3, 1983