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
Sister Grimm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Part of the original Shock Theater package of 52 Universal titles released to television in 1957, followed a year later with Son of Shock, which added 20 more features. See more »
After Bela Lugosi takes an ultraviolet photo of the eyes of the deceased Sir Francis Stevens and turns out the bright light, Sir Francis is clearly seen blinking his eyes and moving fingers on his right hand again. See more »
The universe is very large, and there are some secrets we are not meant to probe.
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 »
One doesn't get to enjoy this gem, the 1936 Invisible Ray, often. But no can forget it. The story is elegant. Karloff, austere and embittered in his Carpathian mountain retreat, is Janos Rukh, genius science who reads ancient beams of light to ascertain events in the great geological past particularly the crash of a potent radioactive meteor in Africa. Joining him is the ever-elegant Lugosi (as a rare hero), who studies "astro-chemistry." Frances Drake is the lovely, underused young wife; Frank Lawton the romantic temptation; and the divine Violet Kemble Cooper is Mother Rukh, in a performance worthy of Maria Ospenskya.
The story moves swiftly in bold episodes, with special effects that are still handsome. It also contains some wonderful lines. One Rukh restores his mother's sight, he asks, "Mother, can you see, can you see?" "Yes, I can see more clearly than ever. And what I see frightens me." Even better when mother Rukh says, "He broke the first law of science." I am not alone among my acquaintance in having puzzled for many many years exactly what this first law of science is.
This movie is definitely desert island material.
18 of 20 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?