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The Mind Benders [DVD]

Dirk Bogarde , Mary Ure , Basil Dearden    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 11.77 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Dirk Bogarde, Mary Ure, John Clements, Michael Bryant, Wendy Craig
  • Directors: Basil Dearden
  • Producers: Michael Relph
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Oct 2007
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000UWXM8A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,837 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

After a fellow scientist accused of passing secrets to the communists commits suicide, Dr.Henry Longman (Dirk Bogarde) submits himself to a particularly dangerous experiment in total isolation to try and prove that his colleague had been brainwashed. Although he doubts whether the technique can actually work, Longman proceeds with the experiment, depriving himself of his senses by being submerged in a tank of water for ten hours.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Mono ), WIDESCREEN (1.66:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Black & White, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: A scientist's attempts to clear the name of a friend nearly destroy his life in this intelligent science fiction drama. Prof. Sharpley (Harold Goldblatt) is a research scientist from Oxford University working with the British government on experiments in sensory deprivation. One day, Sharpley suddenly and shockingly commits suicide by throwing himself under an oncomming train while holding a briefcase stuffed with cash. While investigating the death, the police present the theory that Sharpley was a double agent, perhaps allied with the Communists, and that the death was the final result of his shame over betraying Great Britain. However, Sharpley's friend and associate Dr. Henry Longman (Dirk Bogarde) strongly disagrees, and he speculates that Sharpley's death had something to do with his research. In hopes of clearing Sharpley's name with police investigator Maj. Hall (John Clements), Longman begins subjecting himself to sessions in a sensory deprivation tank in order to prove that use of the technique can make one unusually suceptable to brainwashing or hypnotic suggestion. Longman emerges from the chamber frightened and disoriented, and in Long's presence one of his associates is able to convince Longman that he no longer cares for his wife Oonagh (Mary Ure). The doctor returns home displaying a callous and distant attitude toward his pregnant wife, and his personality begins to display an increasing number of deeply troubling changes. James Kennaway adapted the screenplay from his own novel. ...The Mind Benders

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating movie 12 Mar 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I first saw this film years ago on TV and was fascinated by it. Since then they never seem to put it on TV and I have been looking out for it for years, so it was great to find the DVD, and I enjoyed watching it again as much as the first time. It's very much a product of the Cold War era, using brain washing by means of sensory deprivation as a weapon. Excellently acted by Dirk Bogarde and others - we don't see many Bogarde films on TV generally these days - not sure why as he's an excellent actor!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Oddity. 13 July 2013
By Adrian Drew TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This bizarre science-fiction film is a fascinating rarity whose plot is so extraordinary as to place it in a genre of it's own! No, its not the idea of brainwashing but what they then subject the subject to - almost on a whim - that caused my incredulity to set in! Realism combined with sc-fi is a hard thing to make work. The cast do what they can to make the unbelievable premise work and the positioning of the tale at a very convincing Oxford laboratory, with a splendidly realistic lab assistant, almost - but not quite - allows it to succeed. Given an understandable "X Certificate" on its release through its "frank" portrayal of sexual issues the script wishes to combine the marital angst of "The Pumpkin Eaters" with the visceral sic-fi horror of "The Quatermass Experiment" and almost succeeds. There is a wealth of tiny fascinating details about the private life of the protagonists marriage which are reminiscent of some of the finest "adult" films of the period and are quite shocking in their implications but somehow just don't gel with the unbelievable premise of the story. The print and transfer on this DVD are both excellent and as a rare curiosity it's certainly worth viewing if you can suspend your disbelief. You won't easily forget the central performances from Ure ( who died tragically not that long after on the first night of the play The Exorcism in London's West End) and Bogarde who are admirably supported by many distinguished British actors. Make sure you watch the trailer too in which Eric Lustgarten tells you what to expect - it's a classic!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bogarde Renaissance 25 Jan 2011
Few actors can achieve a second wind or a renaissance with their carreer especially when they are famous as light rom-com mattinee idol fodder. However, Dirk Bogarde succeeded at this in the 1960's. In a clutch of movies such as "Victim" , "The Servant" , "King and Country" and this one "The Mind Benders" Bogarde trashed his fluffy out-dated reputation and carved himself a new one.
Here we see him as the barely recovered Dr. Longman having to return to the isolation experiment that destroyed his colleague's and almost his own sanity in order to clear his friends name during a National Security investigation. Bogarde always was a brilliant actor although he personally had become tired of his own image and by the early 60's set out to change this. It is evident in this film as a grittier character study is evident. Also the subjects of infidelity and child birth are handled in an adult manner. Strangely enough the last time Bogarde played a doctor and aided a birth he was Simon Sparrow in "Doctor In THe House".
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3.0 out of 5 stars Still quite chiling 16 Mar 2014
By Bent A
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Quite excellent Bogarde in a still chilling thriller. I would give it 3.5 stars if that was possible. Not exactly a cold war thriller, although this theme lurks in the background because of fear that a possibly new revolutionary brainwashing technique may have been passed to the Communist world. The thriller is borderline science fiction, involving sensory deprivation with the possibility of easy indoctrination afterwards. Not entirely unlike Frankenheimer 's masterpiece "The Manchurian Candidate", but without its distinct cold war fright. The chilling effect of this thriller is about the effect it will have on Bogarde, when he subjects himself to voluntary sensory deprivation by being submerged into a water tank in total darkness.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars penny for [all] your THOUGHTS ........ 31 May 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
'X' rated by the Brits when released in '62 [well, it DOES feature a 'live' home birth at the end ..... then that dangerous experiment .....] Close to "The Pumpkin Eater" and possibly "Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf - with Kids?" - this very advanced thriller set in the early 6oties tentatively explores "Isolation Tanks" - and the effect on its subject - or victim.
BOTH DIRK BOGARDE and MARY URE are stellar as the Mr. & Mrs. involved - Mary Ure especially has fine moments as the loving and later abused pregnant wife - tough stuff for that period [although we did have 'Saturday Night & Sunday Morning'] - but it does somewhat explore the approach to 'mind-bending' - and reprogramming of the subject - timely stuff.....
Bogarde was on the eve of his stellar career - the beautiful blonde, blue-eyed Mary Ure left so few examples of her work - but worth visiting "Look Back In Anger", etc. {NOT forgetting Miss URE in D.H. LAWRENCE "SONS AND LOVERS" - a missing treasure from 1960 long due for a DVD release!!}
Tone of movie is suitably sombre, photography is moody and the score very suitable .... a neglected treasure from that period.
Oh, yes and a young Edward Fox pops in and out of a few scenes as a student.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pallid 28 Dec 2001
By LGwriter - Published on
In spite of the obviously psychedelic packaging for this film, The Mind Benders is marginally science fiction. Instead, this is a drama with SF trappings. The story of a scientist, Dr. Longman, played by Dirk Bogarde, who comes to believe that the suicide of a colleague was caused by prolonged exposure in a sensory deprivation tank, he is forced to prove his theory by a British intelligence agent and undergo the same treatment himself.
The agent is convinced that Longman's colleague was a spy and engages in some subtle brainwashing of Longman after he's spent eight hours in the tank. While the opening half hour is definitely gripping--including Longman's harrowing experience in the tank--the final two thirds of the film is sorely disappointing for science fiction fans--or even for those who are expecting a substantial buildup focused on the theme.
The development after the first 30 minutes or so is pretty weak, centering on Longman's relationship with his wife which has been put to the test, and is a real letdown. Although Dirk Bogarde and Mary Ure as his wife are more than competent actors, the film runs out of steam long before its happy ending.
The real value of this film, as indicated in the liner notes of the DVD, is that it is a precursor to Altered States and The Manchurian Candidate. For completists who want whatever film they can find about brainwashing, this is a must. For anyone else, it's really not great. A far better vehicle for Dirk Bogarde fans, also available on DVD, is The Servant.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wolf in sheep's clothing... 13 Aug 2005
By Daly Mavorneen - Published on
Ostensibly a run-of-the-mill espionage thriller with radical science flourishes, after 30 minutes of the aforementioned , "The Mind Benders" turns into a harrowing treatise on marital love, which apparently needs a lot of smoke, mirrors and hapless hope to survive. The ending is far from "happy," as the audience feels like they've braved a wet weekend of ghost stories at the end of this nifty littly thriller!!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BASIL DEARDEN, OPUS 31 7 Mar 2012
By Daniel S. - Published on
Hard to believe that Dirk Bogarde would forget Mary Ure, even after an extended stay in a hot bath! Rejoice! He will fall in love again after having helped her to give birth to their fourth child. An interesting Relph/Dearden movie of the early 60's. Recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars Early cold war SF drama 24 Jun 2014
By M. Smith - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
When a university researcher is found with a briefcase full of money after committing suicide, a British intelligence officer believes the man was a traitor, but his colleagues think his research into sensory deprivation may have effected his mind. To prove their point, one of them (Dirk Bogarde) agrees to repeat the experiment with himself as the test subject. Part way through the experiment the intelligence officer realizes this could be used for brainwashing and, to test his belief, tells the subject that his wife is unfaithful -- with tragic results. The film is an excellent psychological drama, but with little action as much of the film concerns the disintegration of the couple's marriage. The DVD has been out of print for several years.
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