The Mind Benders (1963 film)

The Mind Benders is a 1963 British thriller film produced by Michael Relph, directed by Basil Dearden and starring Dirk Bogarde, Mary Ure, John Clements, Michael Bryant and Wendy Craig.[1] American International Pictures released the film in the US as a double feature with Operation Bikini.

The Mind Benders
U.S. theatrical poster
Directed byBasil Dearden
Produced byMichael Relph
Written byJames Kennaway
Based onThe Mindbenders
1963 novel
by James Kennaway
StarringDirk Bogarde
Mary Ure
John Clements
Michael Bryant
Music byGeorges Auric
CinematographyDenys N. Coop
Edited byJohn D. Guthridge
Novus (Michael Relph Productions)
Distributed byAnglo-Amalgamated (UK)
Release date
February 1963 (London, UK)
May 1963 (New York, USA)
Running time
109 min
CountryUnited Kingdom


Professor Sharpey (Harold Goldblatt) commits suicide after subjecting himself to sensory deprivation experiments in a secret research laboratory. His former colleague Doctor Longman (Dirk Bogarde) volunteers to undergo the same tests to try and establish what drove Sharpey to kill himself. He hopes to clear Sharpey's name with the police, who favour the theory that Sharpey was a double agent, perhaps allied with Communists, and that his death was the final result of his shame over betraying Great Britain. Longman begins subjecting himself to sessions in a sensory deprivation tank in order to prove that use of the technique can make one unusually susceptible to brainwashing or hypnotic suggestion.[2]



Critical reception

  • TV Guide called it "a strange movie that leaves a deeper impression than one might expect due to the originality of the plot and the tense direction. It is the direct predecessor of Altered States."[3]
  • Movie Magazine International wrote, "as directed by the great Basil Dearden, it plays in an eerily realistic way and what you see lingers in the mind long afterwards."[4]
  • Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings called it, "a compelling and memorable movie."[5]


  1. "BFI | Film & TV Database | The MIND BENDERS (1963)". 16 April 2009. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  2. "The Mind Benders (1963) - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast". AllMovie. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  3. "The Mind Benders Review". Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  4. "Movie Review: The Mind Benders | Movie Magazine International". Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  5. "Fantastic Movie Musings & Ramblings - THE MIND BENDERS (1963)". Retrieved 12 March 2014.
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