THE MIND OF MR. SOAMES
Terence Stamp, Robert Vaughn, Nigel Davenport, Donal Donnelly, Christian Roberts, Vickery
1970, 95 Minutes, Directed by: Alan Cooke
Forget about Robin Williams in Jack! The
quintessential child trapped in a mans body was a certain Mr. Soames, played by
Terence Stamp who much later on went on to play one of the supervillians in Superman II and a drag queen in Priscilla Queen of the
Desert versatile dude!
But this 1970 British sci-fi movie doesnt play
its premise (of a man who was in a coma since his birth 30 years ago being revived by a
new surgical procedure) for cheap sentimentality or "comic" possibilities.
It is instead a sober and low-key drama that is rather intelligently handled. The
acting is good all-round (however, kudos should go to Stamp though who carries off
his role as Mr. Soames quite well).
Much of the film deals with the conflict between two
medical doctors as to how Mr. Soames should be taught the basic skills we take for granted
(such as walking, talking, etc.). The one doctor is a stern disciplinarian and the other
more relaxed (Dr Spock child-rearing?) but even here the film refuses to take sides
and to degenerate into straightforward melodrama.
The net effect is an understated, yet strangely sympathetic, movie. Rent it as a more
mellow and adult antidote to hollow and loud American blockbusters with cardboard
characters such as Armageddon
Sci-Fi Movie Page Pick: Understated British drama about a man in a coma since birth and being revived at the age
of 30. Don't expect the usually American sentiment and soppiness with which Hollywood
would probably have soaked this project in . . .