IMDb > The Invisible Ray (1936)
The Invisible Ray
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The Invisible Ray (1936) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
6.7/10   1,245 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
John Colton (screenplay)
Howard Higgin (original story) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Invisible Ray on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 January 1936 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Delving into new, strange fields of mystery! See more »
Plot:
A scientist becomes murderous after discovering, and being exposed to the radiation of, a powerful new element called Radium X. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win See more »
NewsDesk:
(2 articles)
Remembering Boris Karloff
 (From Den of Geek. 30 January 2013, 2:16 AM, PST)

Beware Take Care Bela Beware
 (From FilmExperience. 16 August 2010, 2:43 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
The Discovery of Radium X See more (45 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Boris Karloff ... Dr. Janos Rukh (as Karloff)

Bela Lugosi ... Dr. Felix Benet
Frances Drake ... Diane Rukh
Frank Lawton ... Ronald Drake
Violet Kemble Cooper ... Mother Rukh
Walter Kingsford ... Sir Francis Stevens

Beulah Bondi ... Lady Arabella Stevens

Frank Reicher ... Professor Meiklejohn (Mendelssohn in end credits)
Paul Weigel ... Monsieur Noyer
Georges Renavent ... Chief of the Surete (as Georges Renevant)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ernie Adams ... (uncredited)
Ricca Allen ... Bystander (uncredited)
Charles Bastin ... French Newsboy (uncredited)
May Beatty ... Mme. LeGrand (uncredited)
Ted Billings ... Counterman (uncredited)
Ernest A. Bouveron ... French Newsboy (uncredited)
Helen Brown ... Blind Girl's Mother (uncredited)
Daisy Bufford ... Infant's Mother (uncredited)
André Cheron ... Surete Official Checking Names (uncredited)
Alex Chivra ... Cook (uncredited)
Ann Marie Conte ... Blind Girl (uncredited)
Edwards Davis ... Scientist (uncredited)
Jean De Briac ... Gendarme (uncredited)
Dudley Dickerson ... Safari Member (uncredited)
Charles Fallon ... Gentleman (uncredited)
Constant Franke ... Police Detective (uncredited)
Clarence Gordon ... Porter / Servant (uncredited)
Robert Graves ... Gendarme (uncredited)
Winter Hall ... Minister (uncredited)
Daniel L. Haynes ... Rukh's Head Bearer (uncredited)
Isabel La Mal ... Bystander (uncredited)
Alphonse Martell ... Surete Official Checking Names (uncredited)
Francisco Marán ... Gendarme (uncredited)
Paul McAllister ... Papa LaCosta (uncredited)
Etta McDaniel ... Diane's Safari Attendant (uncredited)
Walter Miller ... Derelict (uncredited)
Edward Reinach ... Scientist (uncredited)
Hans Schumm ... Clinic Valet (uncredited)
Ynez Seabury ... Celeste (uncredited)
Adele St. Mauer ... Mme. Noyer (uncredited)
Lawrence Stewart ... Runner-boy (uncredited)
Fred 'Snowflake' Toones ... Native First Seeing Rukh Glow (uncredited)
Ray Turner ... Bearer with Geiger-Counter (uncredited)
Lucio Villegas ... Pierre (uncredited)
Nydia Westman ... Briggs (uncredited)
Lloyd Whitlock ... Scientist (uncredited)

Directed by
Lambert Hillyer 
 
Writing credits
John Colton (screenplay)

Howard Higgin (original story) &
Douglas Hodges (original story)

Produced by
Edmund Grainger .... producer (uncredited)
Fred S. Meyer .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Franz Waxman (musical score)
 
Cinematography by
George Robinson 
 
Film Editing by
Bernard W. Burton  (as Bernard Burton)
 
Art Direction by
Albert S. D'Agostino 
 
Costume Design by
Brymer (gowns by)
 
Makeup Department
Otto Lederer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Jack P. Pierce .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Fred Frank .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sergei Petschnikoff .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Gilbert Kurland .... sound supervisor
Charles Carroll .... sound recordist (uncredited)
William Hedgcock .... sound recordist (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Raymond Lindsay .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
John P. Fulton .... special cinematographer
Jack Cosgrove .... matte artist (uncredited)
David S. Horsley .... effects assistant (uncredited)
Russell Lawson .... matte artist (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Maurice Pivar .... editorial supervisor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
C. Bakaleinikoff .... conductor (uncredited)
W. Franke Harling .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Clifford Vaughan .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Franz Waxman .... musical director (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Carl Laemmle .... presents
Carl Laemmle .... president: Universal Productions, Inc.
Alfred Stern .... production assistant
Ted Behr .... technical advisor (uncredited)
June Blumenthal .... secretary to director (uncredited)
Camille Collins .... production secretary (uncredited)
Myrtle Gibsone .... script clerk (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
80 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Noiseless Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
USA:Approved (PCA #1746) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Boris Karloff, who was actually an Englishman (true name: William Henry Pratt), plays a Hungarian scientist. Bela Lugosi, who was actually a Hungarian plays a Frenchman.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: 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 »
Quotes:
Ronald Drake:Diana, my dear, there are no such things as curses!See more »
Soundtrack:
The Wedding MarchSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
20 out of 24 people found the following review useful.
The Discovery of Radium X, 8 February 2002
Author: lugonian from Kissimmee, Florida

THE INVISIBLE RAY (Universal, 1935, released in early January 1936), directed by Lambert Hillyer, is the third screen teaming of two horror greats, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, with KARLOFF (as he is billed in the casting credits with all capital letters), supporting a mustache and curly dark hair, this time dominating the storyline. Not quite as memorable or as successful as their previous efforts, THE BLACK CAT (1934) and THE RAVEN (1935), both suggested on Edgar Allan Poe, in which the horror relies on their characters of good versus evil, THE INVISIBLE RAY, often mistaken for a horror film, interesting as it may be, is actually a science fiction story divided into three separate categories. And of the three segments, only the African expedition mentioned below in Part II, is the slowest mainly because it plays the longest.

PART I: Set in an isolated castle somewhere in the mountains as the thunderstorm rages, Doctor Janos Rukh (Karloff) is a middle-aged but brilliant scientist with a young wife, Diana (Frances Drake), and an elderly mother (Violet Kemble-Cooper), who is not only wise, but blind. Rukh prepares to reveal his latest discovery to a group of scholars: Doctor Felix Benet (Bela Lugosi), Sir Francis Stevens (Walter Kingsford), along with handsome young Ronald Drake (Frank Lawton) and Lady Arabelle Stevens (Beulah Bondi) as spectators. Rukh demonstrates his discovery of "the invisible ray" being a beam of light which he could follow back in time and space in order to see what has happened in the past. He then provides visual proof that a giant meteor struck the Earth in Africa many millions of years ago, and that this meteor is composed of an unknown element that may have substance more powerful than radium. After this demonstration, Rukh and the scholars prepare to go on timely expedition to darkest Africa. PART II: While in Africa, Rukh separates himself from his expedition, especially his wife, and discovers the ancient element called Radium X, intending to use it for the purposes of atomic medicine. He is soon contaminated by Radium X, and realizes that not only does he glow in the dark, but brings death to whatever he touches, with the first victim being his dog. With the help of Benet, an antidote is prepared for Ruhk in which he must take regularly. In the meantime, Diane, feeling neglected by her husband, finds comfort with that Ronald Drake, who now loves her. PART III: Rukh's discovery of Radium X proves successful, in which the ray used by the scholars cures blindness. Rukh uses this experiment to cure his mother from her eternal blindness, and upon getting her vision back, she doesn't like what she sees in her son. With the radiation becoming too powerful, Rukh's mind soon becomes effected, becoming less rational. He then accuses Benet and the others of "theft," even though Benet assures him that he he will get full credit for his work. Rukh is even more upset when he learns that Diane now loves Drake, thus, as in Agatha Christie's acclaimed mystery novel, "And Then There Were None," Rukh prepares to kill off those he felt betrayed him one by one, and with each death comes the destruction of statues that stand on the side of a London church.

THE INVISIBLE RAY is very much a production that predates the science fiction fantasies of the 1950s. Special effects here are first rate, compliments of John Fulton, with one particular standout scene in Africa where Rukh's machine focuses on a giant boulder, and with the strength of the invisible ray, the boulder disintegrates into powder. With Karloff's know-how into holding his viewer's interest throughout the film's 81 minutes, this production presents itself on a more elaborate scale than THE RAVEN for example. It also features a soothing but memorable music score by Franz Waxman. Although Bela Lugosi, as a European scientist supporting a little beard around his mouth, is given little to do, his role is quite essential to the story. On the lighter side is character actress May Beatty adding some humor as the nosy and gossipy cockney landlady.

It seems interesting to note, however, that with this third installment of Karloff-Lugosi films that Universal didn't attempt to team these two masters of horror to fulfill the trilogy in having them paired in another Edgar Allan Poe based thriller, something like "The Tell-Tale Heart" for example, but as with the aforementioned predecessors, it would have been more Hollywood than Poe. THE INVISIBLE RAY, however, is in a class by itself, but sadly doesn't get the recognition it truly deserves.

THE INVISIBLE RAY, once a frequent late show or Chiller Theater replay on commercial television decades ago, played sporadically on the Sci-Fi Cable Channel in the 1990s during the late night hours where vampires and ghouls were its only viewers. It was revived again thanks to Turner Classic Movies where it premiered April 5, 2006. It was also available on video cassette, compliments of MCA Universal, to any sci-fi movie buff or by true fans of Boris and Bela. (**)

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My, my, who else could be as insipid as Frank Lawton here ? Ariane67
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