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The Invisible Man More at IMDbPro »

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

"I meddled in things man must leave alone"

Author: Mike-764 from Rego Park, NY
23 July 2004

Masked by surgical bandages, dark goggles, and covered from head to foot, Dr. Jack Griffin arrives in an inn of a small village in order to work on correcting an experiment that went terribly wrong. Griffin becomes violent and rude to the innkeepers and customers and is confronted by the local police to leave. Griffin starts to undress and reveals to the crowd that he is invisible, wrecking the inn and causing a panic in the streets. Griffin arrives at the home of a colleague, Dr. Kemp (who is jealous of Griffin's knowledge and is also in love with his girlfriend, Flora) and explains how he experimented with a drug monocaine, which rendered him invisible, even though Griffin doesn't realize that the monocaine is also causing him to lose his sanity. Griffin forces Kemp to become his partner in his "reign of terror", starting with Griffin's murder of a police chief Griffin encountered trying to retrieve his notes. When Kemp alerts the police that the Invisible Man is at his house, Griffin swears to Kemp that he will kill him the next night. Can the police prevent Kemp's murder and apprehend a fiend that can not even see. This is an excellent film from start to finish. Whale's direction and Sheriff's script compliment each other perfectly. Rains, just a voice until the end in his US film debut, is just perfectly cast, lending such an eerie presence. The rest of the cast is good, with O'Connor standing (and screaming) out as the innkeeper's wife. The special effects may see dated today, bit it is still one of the best Universal horror/monster flicks ever produced. Rating, 10.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

The Original Mad Scientist Thriller

Author: blondofborg from Brisbane, Australia
16 May 2004

Although certainly Frankenstein and other films preceded it, this is perhaps the most significant influence on the mad doctor genre. It is quintessential James Whale, which is a huge part of its charms, but Claude Rains' astonishing vocal presence and the unusually dark tone (it is by far the darkest of any of Universal's 'monster' classics though it's the only one that isn't really a horror film) are what truly make this stand out. It isn't perfect. The acting is clipped and theatrical, but again, this is Whale. Una O'Connor is an absolute scream however, providing the perfect comic counterpoint to Rains' manic performance. This is a definitive trip to the absurd, and should be viewed with this fact in mind. It's a lot smarter than the likes of Dracula or Frankenstein (though still doesn't quite reach Bride of Frankenstein's standard), and a lot funnier. But more than anything, it's a seamless blend of sci-fi, thrills, humour and the offbeat that deserves its place in the history books as one of the all time great science fiction films. 9/10

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Undeniably a huge 1930's classic

Author: Mika Pykäläaho ( from Järvenpää, Finland
13 December 2002

James Whale's "The Invisible man", based on H.G. Wells' beloved novel is a really good, funny, stylish and well-designed movie. It's maybe a bit oldish looking but even 70 years later it hasn't lost its wacky charm and it's safe to say this legendary classic has aged with style. Even the revolutionary never before seen special effects are still splendid. Claude Rains makes a fabulous performance acting only with his voice and body. His first and maybe the most famous leading role isn't the most usual accomplishment but he carries it with an outstanding power and devotion, making it look highly memorable. This movie has a really weird sense of humor and some of the characters are quite unique. "The Invisible man" is certainly one of the most successful of all Universal monster classics and a "must" for every fan of these excellent horror flicks of 1930's.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Classic Invisible Man.

Author: area01 from United Kingdom
13 November 2002

Writing about 30's Black-And-White movies can be difficult, as they need to be considered in light of the era the films were made. You have to adopt the mind-set of some-one viewing it for the first time, without the baggage of umpteen remakes and special effects improvements, to remain objective. Here goes:

Claude Rains does a good job with a mainly "speaking" part - lots of emotion and command there. Una O'Connor as the Innkeepers wife does a bit too much shrieking for my liking - but required "reaction" acting fodder for the time, I assume.

The effects still hold up, and must have been cutting edge at the time. The storyline covers all the basics of the Wells Novel - a quest for knowledge and power, alienation and drug inducessed madness. It's an enjoyable watch with good pacing and steady performances throughout. A sort of lazy Sunday afternoon type of movie.

Universal's take on a British Pub raises a smile, with some fantastic looking weathered-faced locals populating the place. I love the way the gag with a local "fake-playing" a coin driven piano gets a roaring laugh (as if that's the first time the pub's drinkers have seen it). However, the British film-industry was putting out the same type of stereotypes, so Universal can be forgiven there.

A part of Sci-Fi/Horror movie making history, and worth watching for this fact alone.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:


Author: TimViper1 from Toronto, Canada
22 September 2002

This is definitely one of the best horror/sci-fi movies of all-time. The special effects are absolutely off the chart for 1933. I can only imagine the shock of the audiences on opening night back in 1933. "The Invisible Man" must have been the equivilant of Star Wars in terms of special effects for the time period. If you have never seen this movie, find it!

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A Whale Of a Good Time

Author: telegonus from brighton, ma
14 May 2002

The Invisible Man may be James Whale's best mainstream film. It's more fantasy than horror, and shows the director more at ease with his material (and less likely to make light of it) than usual. Coming not too long after his initial success with Frankenstein, but before the campy disillusion that one already senses in Bride, this H.G. Wells adaptation shows that Whale could restrain himself and yet still be himself.

It begins beautifully, on a snowbound landscape, as we see a mysterious figure all bundled up, carrying his bags through the snowstorm, as he approaches an inn. We can see that he's wearing dark glasses. As he moves closer we can see that his face is swathed in bandages. When he enters the inn all action stops, and the place goes silent. The stranger has a presence even before he speaks. There is something commanding about him. He rents a room at the inn but people keep on bothering him, as they are curious about who is. And he's certainly peculiar enough: he never takes his bandages off. As things develop, the man is Griffin, a scientist who has been working on an invisibility formula, or rather he's found the formula. The problem is what it does to him.

Griffin is slowly but surely going mad, and becoming increasingly paranoid and grandiose in the bargain. When he takes all his clothes off he is completely invisible, which enables him to wreak all kinds of havoc. In short time he's a raving, homicidal maniac, terrorizing the countryside, and bent on world domination. A manhunt ensues.

Thanks to a witty R.C. Sherriff script, and excellent special effects by John Fulton, the movie was and still is a lot of fun. Though the subject matter is fairly serious, Whale can't keep a straight face for long, and as a result the film is a bit of a romp. There's murder and mayhem aplenty, and some very droll humor along the way. Claude Rains speaks the title role authoritatively, and has a way with thundering commands, which can send a chill up one's spine. The supporting cast isn't as strong as is usual with Whale, though Gloria Stuart makes a lovely heroine. Since the film is set in England Whale's eccentricities are more appropriate and fit in nicely with the story. And though the movie was made in Hollywood it's almost as if the director was on his home turf. He handles his improbable material with aplomb and great skill, and was at this stage of his career the equal of Hitchcock, who was just starting to make a name for himself on the other side of the pond.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

One of the best films of this genre

Author: jg
3 November 2001

The Invisible Man should rank among one of the best horror films of the 20th century. I was amazed at the special effects, even more when I think how computers and digital images for FX where but a dream in the 30's. Unlike most films today, where explosions and hurtling asteroids are ,perhaps, the main actors in film now, The Invisible Man relies on a great plot to counter the effects. This is a world where scientific discoveries and lust for power take hold of mankind. The absence of law and restraint disappear along with the man. This film, directed by James whale, allows for the viewer to compare and contrast Mr. Whale's other masterpiece, "Frankenstein." But one should also watch The Invisible Man as a powerful film of its own right.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant film adaptation superior to the novel

Author: Raymond Valinoti, Jr. ( from Murray Hill, NJ
6 September 2001

What can be said about THE INVISIBLE MAN that hasn't already been said? Claude Rains' superlative performance in the title role. James Whale's imaginative film direction. John P. Fulton's special effects that still impress today. The colorful supporting cast, particularly Una O'Connor as the landlady Jenny Hall and E.E. Clive as constable Jaffers. THE INVISIBLE MAN's reputation as a classic is well deserved.

It should be further stated that the film considerably improves on the H.G. Wells novel which it is based. In the novel, the titular character, Griffin, effectively symbolizes the ruthless monomaniac who misuses science for his own personal gain. But as a character he's one-dimensional. Even though Wells emphasizes his frail humanity as he suffers the disadvantages of invisibility, the author never reveals what makes Griffin tick.

Screenwriter R.C. Sherriff fleshes out Griffin not only by giving him a first name (Jack) but by providing him with an identifiable motivation. He devises a love interest, Flora Cranley (Gloria Stuart, decades before her performance as "Old Rose" in TITANIC), who is the catalyst for Griffin's fantastic experiment. Griffin tells her, "I was so pitifully poor I had nothing to offer you, Flora. I was just a poor, struggling chemist." He makes himself invisible to prove his worthiness to Flora.

But the results are poignantly ironic. Sherriff's screenplay has the concoction Griffin uses to become invisible affect his mind. He transforms from a kind, sensitive man to a homicidal megalomaniac. Consequently, he becomes a hunted man, alienated from the rest of humanity- including Flora. Thus, the cinematic Invisible Man attains a tragic stature lacking in the Wells novel. It is the scenario's powerful tragedy, more than anything else, that makes THE INVISIBLE MAN a great film.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Still gives me the creeps, and Claude Rains is perfect!

Author: Ted Bundy from Teguchigalpa
7 July 2001

The effects still hold up, and look better than a lot of the CGI stuff done today. An irreplaceable classic, with an amazing vocal (since we can't see him for almost the entire film) performance by Claude Rains. Seeing this film inspired me to read the original work by Wells, and to rent Gods and Monsters, about James Whale, who directed this pic.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Fun to watch and almost flawless

Author: modius from United Kingdom
2 January 2001

I really enjoyed this film. Claude Raines commanding voice is great, you get to really feel for his character and his ever-winding road to madness and megalamanical hunger. The film itself is amazingly fun to watch. Sure the film is quite short, but it gets to the point. The special effects are truely amazing and fun to watch, espically when you consider this was made BEFORE CGI ruined films.

This film, backed with tight editing, scripting and good acting makes for a wonderfully pleasing to watch film. I certainly enjoyed it.

Overall: 8/10

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