Working in Dr. Cranley's laboratory, scientist Jack Griffin was always given the latitude to conduct some of his own experiments. His sudden departure, however, has Cranley's daughter Flora worried about him. Griffin has taken a room at the nearby Lion's Head Inn, hoping to reverse an experiment he conducted on himself that made him invisible. Unfortunately, the drug he used has also warped his mind, making him aggressive and dangerous. He's prepared to do whatever it takes to restore his appearance, and several will die in the process. Written by
garykmcd / edited by statmanjeff
On the DVD short documentary, Claude Rains' daughter tells of a time when the two went to see this movie in the theater years after it was made. It was bitterly cold and his face was completely covered by a hat and scarf. When he spoke to ask for the tickets, the attendant immediately recognized his voice and wanted to let them in for free. Rains was quite upset at this and demanded that he pay full price. See more »
When Jenny enters the Invisible Man's room with the mustard, the way he holds the napkin to hide his lower face changes in between shots. See more »
Man in Pub:
Did you hear about Mrs. Mason's little Willy? Sent him to school and found him buried ten-foot deep in a snow drift.
Man in Pub # 2:
How did they get him out?
Man in Pub:
Brought the fire engine 'round, put the hose pipe in, pumped it backwards and sucked him out.
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The opening credits appear out of thin air. See more »
A classic film with good effects and a solid story will not impress modern audiences that much but is still worth seeing
Scientist Griffin disappears from his lab, leaving his colleagues Kemp and Cranley wondering where he has gone. Meanwhile a strange man arrives at an inn, covered in bandages, hat and long coat and acting mysterious. When the other residents of the inn claim that this man is 'invisible', police assume they are suffering some sort of group delusion. Meanwhile Griffin arrives back to see Kemp, clearly (sorry!) invisible and suffering side effects of madness. With his friends trying to help him and the police trying to catch him, Griffin's inability to find a cure continues to eat at his sanity, sending him into a frenzy.
The first thing to note is that any film that is over 70 years old will clearly not hold the same appeal to modern audiences as films made recently do. Those looking to this film to provide the same effects or violence as seen in Hollow Man (for example) will not only be disappointed but they will also be open to accusations of being simply unfair. However, viewed on its own terms, this is a great little film that has impressive effects, an exciting and tragic story mixed with some good (if a little hammy) acting. The basic plot works well, considering that it expects us to be right there with it without any real back story about who Griffin was. I'm not sure why this was done this way (constraints of running time maybe?) but it works well as the film is to fast moving to be slowed by a long build up. It still manages to show Griffin's descent into madness despite the fact he is already losing at the start of the film.
The effects work well even if they (obviously) don't compare to what computers can do, however they still look good and the lead character is convincingly invisible; if anything it is actually more effective because the 'money shots' are sparingly used and then used to good effect. The pace of the film really helps as it is remains exciting and enjoyable all the way to the inevitable conclusion. The acting of the cast helps although it is Rains' film the whole way to the final scene (where he is finally seen!). He may overplay his madness but who can complain when it is such fun? What impressed me is that he is either invisible or behind a mask for the vast majority of the film but yet still manages to make a big impression regardless. Stuart didn't impress me one bit and seemed like her character would have been important with backstory but without it she just came across as a simpering starlet with little involvement in the story, trying to build a human side that was not the focus of the rest of the film. Harrigan and Travers are convincing and the support cast all run around and scream accordingly.
Overall this is an enjoyable film that has good effects and an enjoyable plot. The script could have done more to create more of a human story and draw more emotion from the audience but the fast pace and convincing thrills cover this up well. I was taken by how dark the material was I never expected the 'hero' of the film to kill innocents, this helped me get into it because I was quite shocked by it; this was again more effective than the graphic and obvious gore of modern versions. Not a perfect film but a classic one and rightly so!
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