Young Frankenstein - Brain Depository Cases

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Young Frankenstein is one of my favorite movies to watch this time of year and I’d like to make a few of the brain displays as Halloween decorations.

Making the bases is easy enough, but I need to know what size the glass container is before I can know the rough dimensions for the base and glass dome. In one close up shot from the film, you can see graduations for up to 1800ml on the broken Hans Delbrück container. But that container seems different from the ones shown in the wide shot which don’t have a lip around the top or any graduations. But the two different container types don’t seem all that different in size, so I think using either would look good.

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But I haven’t been able to find any glass container or laboratory glassware that matches any of the on screen examples. If anyone has any info or leads, I’d appreciate the help.
 

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frylinck

Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
It almost looks like a terrarium cloche with "chimney" on top for the stopper. But I haven't seen something exactly like it.

You could also look at glass dome table lamps where the post goes up through the center.

This is an amazing idea.
 

Lightning

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Look up Vacuum Bell Jars, some of them even have a straight spout on the top for attaching the hose, rather than a round knob.

Edit: the top spout is sometimes called a neck bore.

As for the interior bowl, it could be a large glass jug cut in half, if it isn't an off the shelf product. Does the top edge look uneven to anyone else?
 
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Lightning

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Just watching that scene, it's definitely 1800ml, you can also see the 1000ml mark in the smaller broken pieces in the lower right. The broken insert shot would have been second unit, so they apparently had a different glass bowl with the measurements than what was used on the full prop.

Whatever they used for the bell jar, they got a bunch of them, you can see shelves full in the mirror. I wonder if they show up in the original Frankenstein, we know they found and reused a bunch of props from the Lab.
 
I guesstimated from watching the scene that the jars were 7-8 inches wide and 5 or so inches tall, and these jars from Target are about as close to the prop as I have found yet. And they’re nice and affordable at $13 a pop.
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Anyone know a good place to find a realistic looking and soft brain model? Or should I buy a hard model and make a mold to cast a soft version?
 

Lightning

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
There's lots of already existing brain molds available for jello and the like, some look pretty good. The only real issue I see with using a preexisting squishy brain is that I'm pretty sure it would float, so you'd need to weigh it down somehow.
 

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There's lots of already existing brain molds available for jello and the like, some look pretty good. The only real issue I see with using a preexisting squishy brain is that I'm pretty sure it would float, so you'd need to weigh it down somehow.
I imagine I could just hang some weights from strings inside the the mold and then just snip the ends off after pulling the cast piece. No one would be the wiser if I positioned them on the bottom of the brain.
 

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