Ray Milland sees dead people. Or to be more precise, Ray Milland begins seeing the ghost of his dead daughter in the made-for-TV movie DAUGHTER OF THE MIND (1969). I thought I’d kick start my year-long look at telefilms with this compelling thriller based on a novel by author Paul Gallico (THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES; 1942, BITTER VICTORY; 1957, THE SNOW GOOSE; 1971, THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE; 1972, etc.) and directed by Walter Grauman. DAUGHTER OF THE MIND was one of the first telefilms that premiered on ABC’s Movie of the Week and it’s one that I’m particularly fond of due to its supernatural premise and stellar cast.
The film opens with a suspiciously quiet shot of a cemetery where Professor Samuel Constable (Ray Milland) is visiting the grave of his recently deceased daughter Mary (Pamelyn Ferdin). On his drive home the sky turns dark and the Professor is startled to hear a young female voice cry out “Daddy!” followed by the appearance of an apparition of a young girl that suddenly materializes before him. In an effort to avoid the girl, the professor swerves off the road and realizes that he’s being visited by the ghost of his daughter who tells him “I hate being dead.” This strange encounter sets off a series of events that get the attention of Dr. Alex Lauder (Don Murray), a paranormal psychologist who’s encouraged to investigate Professor Constable’s ghostly claims at the request of his longtime friend (George Macready). Lauder visits the Professor’s home and learns that he and his wife Lenore (Gene Tierney) recently lost their daughter in a terrible car accident. Lenore seems to have come to terms with her child’s death but Professor Constable is still struggling to make sense of it. When Dr. Lauder begins to investigate the case he discovers that the Professor is also being watched by a team of U.S. counter-intelligence agents (led by a stern looking Ed Asner). The agents tell him that they think the ghost might actually be a Soviet spook trying to convince the Professor to abandon his work, which involves cybernetic research for the U.S. government.
Continue reading “Telefilm Time Machine: Daughter of the Mind (1969)” at Turner Classic Movies official blog: The Movie Morlocks