HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lu Over the Wall
She's Funny That Way
Vox Lux
Aftermath, The
Five Fingers for Marseilles
Jupiter's Moon
Favourite, The
Mysteries of the Gods
Coming Home
De Sade
Patti Cake$
Hellbound
Final Destination 2
Romance
Bros: After the Screaming Stops
Cockleshell Heroes, The
Mule, The
Sunday in the Country
Nutcracker Fantasy
Spellcaster
Hipsters
Executive Action
Captain Marvel
Zombie Girl
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Rhinoceros
Monkey King 3, The
Adventurers, The
Stripped to Kill
Daughter of Dr. Jekyll
Aladdin's Magic Lamp
Christopher Robin
Hole in the Ground, The
Daniel
Blue Christmas
Death Trip
She's Missing
Return of the Soldier
Shaft
Summer Lovers
   
 
Newest Articles
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
   
 
  Brain, The MastermindBuy this film here.
Year: 1969
Director: Gérard Oury
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Bourvil, David Niven, Eli Wallach, Silvia Monti, Raymond Gérôme, Jacques Balutin, Henri Attal, Yves Barsacq, Jacques Ciron, Robert Dalban, Mario David, Raoul Delfosse, Tommy Duggan, Henri Génès, Sophie Grimaldi, Fernand Guiot
Genre: Comedy, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Although hardly anybody knows it, Colonel Matthews (David Niven) is actually international criminal The Brain, and as the British news broadcast tells it, the only way he can be identified is by an unusual physical quirk: his brain is so large that it weighs more than a normal human's, therefore causes his whole head to tip over on one side or the other. Once this information is revealed, he has to flee the country, but he has plans of his own to rob a train in France, where a NATO fortune is being transported from fourteen countries. But he's not the only one with plans...

For his follow-up to Don't Look Now - We're Being Shot At, which had already been the most successful French comedy ever, director Gérard Oury moved away from the war to stage a crime caper, that old standby of many an all-star Continental romp. He had continued with much the same broad, slightly sharp but mostly goodnatured humour and the big name cast, of whom the biggest actor on the international scene would have been Niven, but Oury ensured it would go over well in his native land by casting Jean-Paul Belmondo and Bourvil, who may have been fairly famous outside France but inside were hugely popular.

And this type of story was exactly what their fans wished to see them in; joining this trio was American import Eli Wallach, evidently fancying a pleasant holiday in La Belle France and going way over the top as the Italian mobster who not only teams up with Matthews to rob the train but is insanely aggressive when it comes to defending the virginity of his sister Sofia (Silvia Monti) who is just as aggressive in her endeavours to lose it - with Matthews, who is surely old enough to be her grandfather. Anyway, this is all to establish an antagonism between the two crooks which will be paid off in the last half hour, but they have rivals in Bourvil and Belmondo as the decidedly smaller time thieves looking to steal their thunder.

Well, they're mainly wanting to steal the NATO cash, but piggyback on Matthews' scheme, which is related to a group of ne'erdowells at a swanky apartment in Paris via a neato animated sequence (the Colonel must have money to burn if he can afford to present his plans in this manner), but Belmondo's Arthur is eavesdropping having broken in, except that he has to negotiate Matthews' pet leopard. It's that sort of film, where nobody does anything the easy way if it means it can garner a solid laugh and to a certain extent succeeds, even if what you're watching comes across as incredibly, needlessly in fact, complicated for the characters to attempt to pull off, but such was the comic landscape it presented.

Beginning with a groovy theme tune singing the praises of the Brain, complete with daft lyrics that make him sound like a Bond villain - or hero, for that matter, when in actual fact this was far less a spy spoof and more in the vein of After the Fox, if not quite as accomplished. The main centrepiece is that great train robbery where Matthews sees his methods applied to nicking those bags of cash in an elaborate manner, but unknowingly foiled by Arthur who demonstrates that a simpler plan can work just as well, except of course his ideas are no more straightforward to implement from what we see. Then there's the late on twist which has both sides of this thwarted, and includes a huge trunk which you can fit a David Niven in, an image which stays with those who saw this a while back for some reason. There's enough energy here to justify the time it takes - nearly two hours, but what offers the most pleasure is just seeing a bunch of professionals capably going about their careers; easy to watch, and easy to enjoy. Music by Georges Delerue.

Aka: Le Cerveau
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1888 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: