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Lon Chaney Jr.,
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Visionary scientist Janos Rukh convinces a group of scientists and supporters to mount an expedition to the African continent to locate and study an ancient meteorite of great significance. He exposes himself to the highly toxic radiation of the meteorite, and while an antidote devised by Dr. Benet saves him from death by radiation poisoning, his naked touch causes instant death to others. Back in London, the benefits of the meteorite's controlled radiation offer Dr. Benet an opportunity to restore eyesight to the blind. The antidote's toxicity excites Prof. Rukh into paranoid rages as he seeks revenge against the members of his expedition, who he accuses of stealing his discovery for their own glory. Written by
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Although Frank Reicher's character is correctly listed as "Professor Meiklejohn" in the opening credits, he is incorrectly listed as 'Professor Mendelssohn' in the end credits. See more »
The opening view of the Carpathian castle shows a starry sky. Stars are again seen through the telescope opening in the observatory roof. But there is highly inclement weather in other parts of the opening scenes. Diana and Mother Rukh are witness to much lightning and thunder. Plus, there is fog and howling winds when the car arrives with Dr. Benet and company. See more »
At the end: "A Universal Cast is Worth Repeating." This credit appeared on many Universal films of that era, not just "The Invisible Ray". It did not, however, appear on the cast list for the 1936 "Show Boat", which Universal also made. See more »
The scientist Janos Rukh (Boris Karloff) has been expelled from the scientific community due to the lack of credibility in his researches. Living isolated in a castle with his blind mother (Violet Kemble Cooper) and his wife Diane (Frances Drake), he makes a private presentation of the recently discovered invisible ray to his colleague Dr. Felix Benet (Bela Lugosi), and succeeds in being sponsored by Sir Francis Stevens (Walter Kingsford) and his wife Lady Arabella Stevens (Beulah Bondi) in an expedition to Nigeria, where he believe he could find a meteor with Radium X. Once in Africa, Janos leaves the expedition alone and finds the meteor, but is exposed to its radiation, acquiring a deadly touch that immediately kills anyone who is touched by him. Meanwhile, Diane falls in love for the son of Lady Arabella, Ronald Drake (Frank Lawton). Dr. Benet finds an antidote to control the effects of the radiation in Janos to be daily injected, but advises that the side effect could bring madness to him. Dr. Benet returns to Paris and steals the findings of Janos, exposing and using Janos's researches to the scientific community, while the deranged Janos seeks revenge against those that have betrayed him.
"The Invisible Ray" is a delightfully silly and naive sci-fi visibly inspired in H.G. Well's "The Invisible Man" of 1933. This minor film is a great opportunity to see Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi acting together. The story is entertaining but with questionable ethical and moral behaviors of the lead characters. Dr. Felix Benet steals the research of his colleague that needed to recover the esteem together with the scientific community for self-profit and self- promotion. Diane Rukh has an affair with Ronald Drake in the absence of her husband in Africa. Mother Rukh breaks the only chance of survival of her only son that loved her and recovered and healed her vision. And Janos Rukh does not tell his wife that is sick and kills innocent people to reach his personal vendetta. In the end, all the characters are unpleasant. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "O Raio Invisível" ("The Invisible Ray")
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