A physician on death row for a mercy killing is allowed to experiment on a serum using a criminals' blood, but secretly tests it on himself. He gets a pardon, but finds out he's become a Jekyll-&-Hyde.
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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Shooting lasted from Sept. 17-Oct. 25, 1935, release was held up due to the extensive special effects done by John P. Fulton. Issued January 10, 1936. See more »
The story is frequently advanced by the old "newspaper headline" gimmick. About 45 minutes in, one newspaper tells of the "Benet expedition," but in the small print the name is misspelled as "Bennet." See more »
Delightful movie, great acting performance, laughable science
The Invisible Ray is an excellent display of both the acting talents of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. Karloff pulls off a flawless performance as a sullen and conflicted scientist who appears to put his scientific achievements ahead of his relationships with others, even his wife. His already loner personality becomes unbearable as he becomes paranoid.
Lugosi plays the consummate professional, who is passionate about his work but still finds time to maintain on good terms with everyone, but still seems to have no real close friends. This was one of his few roles as a good guy and he plays it very well. It is hard, however to hear his accent and believe he is French.
The biggest problem with the movie was that it was all based on "junk science" but, in a way, even the junk science makes it work well. Since the ideas and theories are completely idiotic, they are as "relevant" today as they were when the movie was made. And they are also as forward reaching- and always will be.
This is a perfectly delightful movie to watch again and again. I saw it maybe 5 times this weekend and I could easily sit through it five more times. The acting is marvelous and the science is amusing. I highly recommend it.
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