Factual error: When the Brainstorm project is taken over by the sinister military operative Landan Marks, he begins weaponizing the brain-interface technology and testing it on the human guinea pig Gordon Forbes. As Gordon is subjected to increasingly difficult fighter-jet simulations, Landan Marks gleefully exclaims to military observers, "Now watch this! He can take a full 10-G rollout without losing control, just by thinking about it!" In the flight-simulator cockpit, Gordon grimaces, but the Brainstorm device allows him to remain conscious and maintain control despite his physical distress. But the fact is that no flight simulator in the 1980s or even today would be able to simulate extreme G-forces as described in this film. In fact, flight simulators then and now can't approximate even low G-forces. Only a giant centrifuge can produce such forces; but Gordon is not in a centrifuge for this scene. It's simply a flight simulator.

Charles Austin Miller

Continuity mistake: As Mike and Karen walk the aisle at Lillian's funeral, she links her arm with his. The camera cuts to a wider angle and they're not touching. (00:59:50)

Continuity mistake: When Christopher Walken gives his wife a tape of his best memories, many of the shots are 3rd-person, of the two of them, and not 1st-person, from his perspective, like everyone else's recordings. (00:44:40)

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Suggested correction: The device that records experience, esp. memory, is sometimes viewed in a non-logical way. This is because memories and emotions are not usually recalled exactly as they occurred. The brain is not a camera. There are complex mechanisms at work. I assume the filmmaker had this in mind.

Producer/director Douglas Trumbull knew that the montage of romantic memories was vital to establishing a backstory for the relationship between Christopher Walken and Natalie Wood. This montage was the first time we see the love they actually had for one another, so it was necessary to show them interacting on the screen. If Trumbull had stayed strictly with the movie's premise of first-person brain-recording technology, the montage of romantic memories would be nothing but closeup shots of Natalie Wood (from Walken's perspective), with no visual interaction between the couple. So, Trumbull violated the first-person technological premise of the film in order to more firmly establish the depth of their relationship. Trumbull did the same thing for Louise Fletcher's memory sequence. It was a matter of artistic license.

Charles Austin Miller

More mistakes in Brainstorm

Trivia: Contrary to longstanding rumors, Natalie Wood's death did not change the plot or threaten production of this film. At the time of her death, Wood had already completed all of her principal photography, including the ending. According to producer/director Douglas Trumbull, the truth of the matter was that Metro Goldwyn Mayer was in financial trouble and saw Wood's death as an opportunity to bail itself out of debt; so, MGM halted production of "Brainstorm" and tried to write-off the film as a loss in order to collect a sizable insurance claim from Lloyd's of London. When Lloyd's investigated the claim and deposed Douglas Trumbull, he told Lloyd's that the movie was not at all damaged or threatened by Wood's death, and that it could easily be completed. Although MGM refused to pay for the film's completion, Lloyd's of London itself gave Trumbull $5.8 million to finish production.

Charles Austin Miller

Trivia: It was because of Natalie Wood's (Karen Brace) untimely demise that the plot was rehashed at extreme variance to the original script, and to maintain continuity, Wood's sister was used as a body double. Also, the bodily "energy rejuvenation" experienced after playing the looped orgasm tape was supposed to be a major plot-point, not something shuffled off to the side.

Dr. Michael Anthony Brace: Why do you have to die to let go?

Dr. Michael Anthony Brace: When I found her, she looked so peaceful. Why do you have to die to let go? All my life, I never needed anybody... And now, because of this thing she left me, I'm scared. For the first time in my life, I'm scared. But the thing is, I like it. I want more. You're married to a man who has a chance to take a scientific look at the scariest thing people ever have to face. I've gotta do this... gotta play that tape, and you gotta help me.

Alex Terson: Michael, I want these personal experiments stopped. You've abused your privilege as a scientist, and you've endangered your life. The thought of you playing that tape makes my skin crawl.
Dr. Michael Anthony Brace: Where is it?
Alex Terson: It's locked away where nobody will ever have it.
Dr. Michael Anthony Brace: Alex, I wanna play that tape.
Alex Terson: You didn't hear me, did you? Nobody plays that tape.

More quotes from Brainstorm

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