HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Huracan
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Tailgate
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Buddies
Threshold
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
Gypsy
Lost in London
   
 
Newest Articles
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
   
 
  Brain, The Mastermind
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, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
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 2665 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: