The Mind of Mr. Soames (1970)

Genres - Drama, Science Fiction, Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Fantasy Drama  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom , United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Craig Butler

Although science fiction in the 1960s and '70s continued to explore such traditional topics as space travel, a number of films took conventions of science fiction and used them in more "naturalistic" settings. The Mind of Mr. Soames is one example, and while it is far from a great film, it is a generally absorbing and worthwhile effort. The biggest problem with Mr. Soames is a tendency toward melodrama at the expense of genuine exploration of the ideas it raises. The screenplay also teeters back and forth between trying to present a balanced debate and painting the figures involved in that debate in black-and-white terms. Nigel Davenport's overemphatic portrayal does not really help things, but Mr. Soames is helped immeasurably by its other two leads. As the "gentle" doctor, Robert Vaughan turns in a nicely shaded performance that avoids many of the syrupy pitfalls of the role. Most importantly, Terence Stamp is a totally engaging Soames; it's the kind of showcase role that actors crave, and Stamp grabs hold of it and plays it for all it's worth. Stamp's next film, five years later, was Hu-Man, a film that has more distinct sci-fi leanings.