The Man with Two Brains (1983)
November 1, 2022 1:00 PM - Subscribe

A brain surgeon marries a femme fatale, causing his life to turn upside down. Things go more awry when he falls in love with a talking brain.

77% on RottenTomatoes

Steve Martin as Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr, Kathleen Turner as Dolores Benedict, Sissy Spacek as Anne Uumellmahaye (Brain #21), Merv Griffin as 'Himself', and the always greats David Warner as Dr. Alfred Necessiter and Paul Benedict as Dr. Necessiter's butler.

Directed by Carl Reiner.

Streaming on HBOMax and DirecTV with rental and purchase available many places. JustWatch.

Oh pointy birds, Oh pointy, pointy.

Get that cat out of here!
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage (8 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I loved this when I was 14 and am afraid to watch it again. How has it aged?
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:33 PM on November 1, 2022

I think all Steve Martin funny movies are pretty great. "Uumellmahaye", brain in a jar, hijinks ensue.... Martin is always good.
posted by zengargoyle at 3:22 PM on November 1, 2022 [3 favorites]

I just watched it today and I also really liked it as a kid. It holds up ok I think. There are some fat jokes at the end I don’t care for but it’s not horrible. There is also gratuitous 80s nudity just for the sake of it. You don’t really see that anymore and it stands out. I could do without it but again it’s not terribly offensive. There is a scene with sex workers that is actually ok - especially for the era.

There are just so many great lines and sight gags in this movie that I think that compensates for the few bits that feel out of place today. It might be my favorite Steve Martin movie - probably tied with L.A. Story. It seems like he liked it too because later movies of his have callbacks to this one.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 5:39 PM on November 1, 2022 [2 favorites]

What does it do anyway?
It causes your brain to die last.
I don't mind.
posted by Gorgik at 7:37 PM on November 1, 2022 [4 favorites]

May have had some secret thrills to me as a trans tween. This and like Roxanne and Splash are in some storage area of my brain as forgotten little 80s movies that I liked and still like.

I still make Pointy Birds references now and then.
posted by fleacircus at 9:03 PM on November 1, 2022 [3 favorites]

"You're trying to play God!"
"Somebody has to!"
Nobody but Steve could have delivered that line.
posted by whuppy at 6:52 AM on November 2, 2022 [8 favorites]

"Into the mud, Scum Queen!"
posted by Saxon Kane at 12:08 PM on November 2, 2022 [3 favorites]

I wouldn't count it among the movies that age well, but I loved it as a kid and I'm willing to put up with a lot for the hilarity of it all.

By the way, I would argue that in the German dub
"Nun schwalbt,
ihr Schwalben,
Schwalben schwalbt,
gesalbt mein Haupt,
gesalbt, gesalbt"
is even better that pointy birds was in the original and now I wonder what the other translations are like.
posted by Ashenmote at 1:28 PM on November 2, 2022 [2 favorites]

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