Man with Two Brains [1983]

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 twists off as easily as the lid of a pickle jar. The man may be a medical genius, but his talent for love leaves something to be desired, which explains his marriage to a gold-digging vixen (Kathleen Turner). Ah, but Dr. Hfuhruhurr may yet find true love, in the form of the disembodied brain he discovers in the lab of a mad scientist--David Warner, gone the Frankenstein route. (Lovely image: Hfuhruhurr in a rowboat, taking the brain out for a romantic ride on the lake.) Thus, in its own utterly goofy way, does The Man with Two Brains delve into the eternal dilemma of male indecision: does a man fall in love with a woman's body, or with her mind? Along the way, of course, there are gags both highbrow and very, very lowbrow, a mind-body split that might be why critics have tended to prefer the more sophisticated slapstick of All of Me (directed, like this film, by Carl Reiner) and Roxanne among the early Steve Martin outings. Still, this is one of Martin's funniest pictures, and a game Kathleen Turner, fresh off her Body Heat success, ably spoofs her own sultry image. The cerebral love object is voiced by Sissy Spacek. --Robert Horton

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