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The Man with Two Brains (1983)

1 rating: 4.0
Comedy movie directed by Carl Reiner

Meet Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr (Steve Martin), the famous brain surgeon. Perhaps the name is not unfamiliar, though it is unpronounceable; the good doctor is the inventor of the celebrated "screw-top" method of brain surgery, in which the top of the skull … see full wiki

Tags: Movie
Director: Carl Reiner
1 review about The Man with Two Brains (1983)

Funniest of Martin's "early era"

  • Jun 15, 2003
"Into the mud, scum queen!"

I hadn't seen this film for about ten years, and yet that line had stuck with me forever. This movie has SO many memorable moments, many of them gloriously ridiculous, many sublimely subtle. Martin, in his early films such as THE JERK, was all over the map, mining for humor. Low humor, physical humor, verbal humor, satire, it didn't matter as long as it might be funny.

This is a low budget movie with some delightfully twisted moments. Martin plays famed brained surgeon, Dr. Huffarahrr (or something like that) who marries one of his patients, the beautiful (but evil) Kathleen Turner, hot off her great role in BODY HEAT. The movie's plot is hardly important though...it mostly revolves around brain surgery jokes and humor at Martin's expense because he is so desparate for intimate relations with his wife, who is mostly hoping he'll die so she can take his money. When Martin falls in love with a disembodied brain (don't ask), things just get weirder. (The brain is voiced by Sissy Spacek, by the way.)

That summary probably doesn't make much sense, but the main thing to remember is that the movie is funny. It feels a bit like a TV movie in its production quality, and it's opening credit style and background music firmly date this movie to the early '80s. And there's a HUGE Merv Griffin joke, so you'd better know who Merv Griffin is. Much of the joke is "low" humor, but it's so well done, so over-the-top, that you can't help but smile.

Man With Two Brains is hardly a work of genius. It isn't as solid as ALL OF ME or PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES, which are slicker films with true hearts...but it is good, dirty fun for 90 minutes. Martin is very funny and we are reminded of his early "glory days" as the nation's hottest comic. Kathleen Turner is a hoot, and it's fun to remember what a bombshell femme fatale she was. The usually reserved and impeccable David Warner (Titanic, Time After Time) gets to get a little unhinged here, and that's fun too. There's a guaranteed laugh about every 60 seconds, so that's a lot of laughs. The movie is VERY inexpensive now, so I heartily recommend taking a look.

Word of warning...the DVD has NO extras. Just the movie. Also, it is "R" rated, and deservedly so...there are some funny but dirty bits here.

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