Film: The Man With Two Brains
German Detective: "You're playing God!"
Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr: "Somebody's got to!"
A 1983 comedy film starring Steve Martin
as Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr (it's pronounced exactly how it's spelled), a brilliant but arrogant neurosurgeon newly married to a monstrous gold-digging Black Widow
(Kathleen Turner), who belatedly meets and falls in love with his soulmate, Anne Uumellmahaye (Sissy Spacek
) whose one tiny defect is that she's a disembodied brain in a jar. Hfuhruhurr naturally attempts to find a body into which to transplant her. Hilarity Ensues
. (No, really!)
Like all of Martin's early movie work, it's pretty much gag-a-minute
, with two particular highlights being Hfuhruhurr facing the world's strictest drunk-driving test, and the identity of The Elevator Killer.
This film provides examples of:
- Actor Allusion: Kathleen Turner did this role right after Body Heat.
- And I Must Scream: Since she lacks a body, let alone sensory organs, Anne can't see, hear, feel, or sense anything at all aside from Hfuhruhurr's voicenote . It's no small miracle she remained sane! Now consider all the brains Necessiter keeps in jars...
- Audience Murmurs: After Michael makes his big announcement, the Viennese audience gasps and murmurs in astonishment:
Michael: What are they saying?
Dr. Conrad: They are just saying 'murmur, murmur, murmur.'
Michael: You mean it's just sort of a general murmur?
Dr. Conrad: Yeah. Murmur.
Michael: Oh. [to the crowd] You may murmur all you like —
Crowd: [loudly] Murmur, murmur, murmur, murmur, murmur.
- Big Eater: Anne—at least once she's got a body to do it with.
- Bigger on the Inside: Dr. Necessiter's apartment.
- Subverted: It only looks bigger. Still almost no closet space.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing / Black Widow: Dolores.
- Brain in a Jar: Lots of them.
- Brain Transplant: Hfuhruhurr's goal.
- The Cameo: Merv Griffin as himself, who turns out to be the Elevator Killer.
- Card-Carrying Villain / Obviously Evil: Dolores, right from the start, when she loves watching forehead veins throb.
- Cargo Ship: A good and long part of the movie involves Hfuhruhurr trying to be romantic with Anne's Brain in a Jar, including taking her rowing and putting wax lips on the glass. It all stays PG, though.
- The Cast Showoff: At one point Martin simultaneously (if briefly) juggles, tap-dances and sings. He also walks upside down on his hands (and briefly on one hand.)
Hfuhruhurr: God damn your drunk tests are hard!
- Came Back Wrong: Necessiter's previous attempts to resurrect a brain-in-a-jar in a new living body. He probably shouldn't have tried to transplant a brilliant doctor into a gorilla...
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Dr. Hfuhruhurr.
- Companion Cube: Hfuhruhurr carries around a little Barbie doll representing his first, deceased wife, and often speaks to it as though it were really her. Anne's jar could also qualify.
- Convenient Coma: After Hfuhruhurr nearly dies in the transplant procedure, he spends enough time in coma for Anne to get back on her feet in Dolores' body.
- Covered in Mud: When Hfuhruhurr discovers the extent of Dolores' unfaithfulness he shoves her face-first into a suspiciously convenient puddle.
Hfuhruhurr: Into the mud, scum queen!
- Cute but Cacophonic: A prostitute that Hfuhruhurr tried to kill so Anne could have her body.
- Dead Man Writing
- Evilutionary Biologist: Necessiter, though his experiments are solely For SCIENCE! instead of any actual evil, and he's completely unaware that (at least some of) his brains are still fully conscious.
- The Faceless: Well, considering Anne's a disembodied brain, you only hear Sissy Spacek.
- Fanservice: Even Fran's voice isn't enough to wreck the fact that she's super-hot.
- Fat Suit: Turner dons one after Anne's been transplanted into Dolores' head.
- Femme Fatale: Dolores to the point of (intentional) parody.
- Fetish Fuel Station Attendant: Invoked in-universe a few times. Despite the over-the-top Comedic Sociopathy, this is probably Turner's hottest role, aside from Body Heat. In a Deleted Scene, Dolores is so hot she makes a bellhop go through puberty in one minute.
- For the Evulz: Dolores loves to watch veins in foreheads throbbing.
- Fun with Foreign Languages
- Fun with Subtitles
- Gold Digger: Dolores, with a vengeance.
- A God Am I: Hfuhruhurr gets a wee bit unhinged when in the midst of Anne's transplant procedure, trying to stop the police from interfering. When accused of playing God, he replies, "Somebody has to!"
- Groin Attack: Hfuhruhurr does this to Dolores while they scuffle. He nails her right in the balls.
- Heel Realization: Hfuhruhurr very nearly kills an innocent woman to use her body. He realizes he can't do it in the nick of time.
- Homage: Donovan's Brain. It's Dr. Hfuhruhurr's favorite film, too.
- Insufferable Genius: Likes to brag Dolly Parton wants to have his baby.
Olsen: "My brilliant research in brain transplantation is unsurpassed, and will probably make my name live beyond eternity."
Dr. Hfuhruhurr: Well, that's all right. Take out the "probably". It makes me sound wishy-washy.
- Love Makes You Evil: Or at least willing to kill.
- Little Professor Dialog
- Mad Scientist: ...several. Necessiter is only the most obvious one.
- Meaningful Name: Dolores. It means pain.
- Mindlink Mates: Hfuhruhurr and Anne, natch. Why they share this Psychic Link is never explained.
- Most Annoying Sound: Fran's voice. Michael is happy it makes him want to kill her, initially.
- The Mourning After: Hfuhruhurr for his first wife.
- Ms. Fanservice: Dolores, again, it's parodied. She's so hot, in a deleted scene she makes a bellhop instantly go through puberty.
- N-Word Privileges: Parodied when Dolores growls at Hfuhruhurr, "I'll get you for this, you nigger kike wop!"
- Non-Fatal Explosions: Combined with Soft Water.
- Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date: Hfuhruhurr and Anne.
- Ramming Always Works: The Viennese police ask Necessiter's neighbor for a battering ram to break into the doctor's apartment, and get one. Through a series of errors, they ram all the way across and fly out the building into a pool.
- Right Through the Wall: Necessiter's awesome apartment has "stone walls" made of paper. His butler even punches through one to demonstrate. He does not get along well with his neighbors.
- Selective Obliviousness: Hfuhruhurr never sees, or unwittingly chooses not to see, that Dolores is cheating on him with nearly every male she comes across.
Dolores: (seeing the gardners) Who are those assholes out in the garden?
Hfuhruhurr: (chuckling) They're pronounced azaleas.
- Serial Killer: The Elevator Killer, who injects window cleaner into his victims.
- Sexy Coat Flashing: Hfuhruhurr asks the prostitute if he can see the rest of her, prompting this.
- Shout-Out: Hfuhruhurr loves Judy Garland's Under the Bamboo Tree. So does Anne.
- Sorry Ociffer: Dr Hfuhruhurr is stopped by a traffic cop while attending a conference in Austria; when asked if he has been drinking, he replies "No, I dron't dink... don't drink".
- Stock Shticks: Necessiter gets in the old "the patient lived, but the doctor died" joke. Still well-used.
- Switch to English: Dr. Hfuhruhurr gets pulled over by a German-speaking policeman. When he replies to the policeman in English, the policeman says, "Oh, you speak English! Good!" and directs his partner to turn off the subtitles.
- Talking to the Dead: Hfuhruhurr asks the soul of his departed former wife for a little sign, even the smallest sign, that she disapproves his marriage to Dolores. After the entire house shakes and spectral voices wail "NOOOOOO!" and short out the lights for a minute or two, he decides that not getting even a little sign from her means she's OK with it.
- Too Dumb to Live: Fran. When she asks what injecting her with window cleaner will do, Dr. Hfuhruhurr tells her that it'll kill her, leaving the brain to die last.
Fran: I don't mind!
- The Unpronounceable: "Hfuhruhurr." Various characters take unsuccessful stabs at it, though the doctor claims it's pronounced exactly as it's spelled. He pronounces it "Hoff-hhhhaaarrrrrr." Anne Uumellmahaye is another example, though her name is pronounced more or less how it's spelled: "Uuuuhhhh-mell-muh-hay." The fact that they can both pronounce each other's names perfectly on the first attempt is a sign that they're soulmates.
Anne: How else is it supposed to be pronounced? It's spelled H-F-U-H-R-U-H-U-R-R, isn't it?