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The Invisible Man Returns (1940)

Approved | | Drama, Horror, Mystery | 12 January 1940 (USA)
The owner of a coal mining operation, falsely imprisoned for fratricide, takes a drug to make him invisible, despite its side effect: gradual madness.



(characters), (story) | 3 more credits »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Richard Cobb (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Helen Manson
Doctor Frank Griffin
Willie Spears
Ben Jenkins


Framed for the murder of his brother, Geoffrey Radcliffe is scheduled to hang. After a visit from his friend Dr. Frank Griffin, he vanishes mysteriously from prison. Police inspector Sampson realizes that Griffin is the brother of the original Invisible Man and has given Geoffrey the formula to aid his escape. Can Geoffrey elude the police dragnet and track down the real murderer? More importantly, can Griffin discover an antidote before the invisibility formula drives Geoffrey insane? Written by P. Silvestro

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They hear him! They feel him! But they can't stop him! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 January 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Invisible Man Returns  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


Geoffrey "The Invisible Man" was eating and cleaning his mouth by a tissue and was planning to drink a toast while he remained veiled. When he was having supper with Dr. Frank and Helen. See more »


[first lines]
Mr. Cotton: I - I can't believe it's going to happen. Just two more hours, and they're going to kill him.
See more »


Referenced in The Horror Hall of Fame (1974) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An invisible man sequel worth seeing
16 April 2003 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

It took Universal Studios seven years to produce this sequel to The Invisible Man, but in some regards, it was worth the wait. Geoffrey Radcliffe (Vincent Price) is an innocent man condemned to death for a murder he didn't commit. At the last minute, Radcliffe's gal pal, Helen (Nan Grey), and the friendly mad doctor, Frank Griffin (John Sutton), decide the only way to save Radcliffe is by injecting him with the invisibility serum invented by Jack Griffin. Radcliffe's invisibility enables him to escape the gallows and easily elude the police led by the wily Inspector Sampson (Cecil Kelloway). Radcliffe figures out the identity of the murderer but his behavior soon borders on madness, unsettling Dr. Griffin and Helen. Should they continue to aid Radcliffe or rat him out to the constabulary? Will Radcliffe remain sane long enough to clear his name or will the law have to gun him down like his phantom predecessor, Jack Griffin?

This is a real rarity among sequels in that it is nearly as good as the original. It's one of my favorites in this genre. The story moves along briskly, features some intriguing scenes, and offers some occasional humor. The acting is solid. The special effects though primitive by today's standards are still effective. That doesn't mean it is without it share of faults. Chief among them is why they didn't inject Radcliffe earlier instead of waiting till the day of his execution? Or better yet, inject Helen, so she might solve the crime. Speaking of solving the crime, Radcliffe uncovers the real murderer's identity much too easily. Still, I would love to see Universal Studios remake this someday with a woman as the unseen protagonist/fugitive-Thandie Newton would be my choice. But, knowing Universal Studios, I probably couldn't get that lucky.

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