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Daughter of the Mind

USA 1969
produced by
Walter Grauman for 20th Century Fox
directed by Walter Grauman
starring Ray Milland, Don Murray, Gene Tierney, Barbara Dana, Edward Asner, Pamelyn Ferdin, Ivor Barry, William Beckley, George Macready, John Carradine, Virginia Christine, Cecile Ozorio, Frank Maxwell, Bill Hickman, Hal Frederick
screenplay by Luther Davis, based on the novel The Hand of Mary Constable by Paul Gallico, music by Robert Jackson Drasnin, special effects by L.B.Abbott

review by
Dale Pierce

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Ray Milland was in many classic films during his long career, especially the booze-drenched Lost Weekend. He did his share of horror films too, including the classic The Uninvited and the not-so-classic The Sea Serpent. Daughter Of the Mind ranks someplace in the middle of the two extremes, though dated and seldom seen anywhere any longer.

Milland plays a professor in cybernetics who believes he is being visited by the ghost of his dead daughter. He hears a continual calling of "Daddy, daddy, daddy." He encounters uncanny happenings. All signs point to a classic haunting, so much so that he enlists the help of psychics to try to make actual contact with the dead girl. There seems to be a breakthrough between the two worlds for the dead daughter leaves a casting of her hand and arm in a fishbowl. (The film was based on a book titled The Hand Of Mary Constable, with this particular incident being a focal point in both the movie and the literary work.)

Then, in the midst of all of this, the government gets involved and with FBI agents showing up, the story takes another plot twist. All may not be as it seems.

The professor has been warned that the spirit world is disturbed, as he is being used by the government to build bombs, which if used, will kill many people. The daughter's ghost informs him that she will no longer be able to contact him, as long as he persists in this line of work. The panic-stricken father nearly falls for this, only to learn his trusted mediums are not psychic experts, but spies, designing an elaborate work to get him to curtail or reveal his discoveries.

So there you have it. Not even a real haunting ! At least in The Uninvited the ghosts were real.

 

review © by Dale Pierce

 

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