The Invisible Man Returns (1940)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Horror, Mystery  |  12 January 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 1,891 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 25 critic

The owner of a coal mining operation, falsely imprisoned for fratricide, takes a drug to make him invisible, despite its side effect: gradual madness.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Richard Cobb (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Nan Grey ...
Helen Manson
John Sutton ...
Doctor Frank Griffin
Inspector Sampson of Scotland Yard
Willie Spears
Forrester Harvey ...
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


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Release Date:

12 January 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Invisible Man Returns  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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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 »


(at around 1 min) As the doctor prepares to enter a small room where lab animals are kept, through the window of the door can be seen the moving shadow of a man. 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 »


Followed by The Invisible Man See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Clever approach to an "Invisible Man" sequel...
28 October 2006 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

THE INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS is really the story of Frank Griffin's brother, Geoffrey (VINCENT PRICE), who is wrongly accused of murder and imprisoned. Helping him escape is a doctor (JOHN SUTTON) who injects him with a serum to make him invisible. Griffin then sets about trying to get to the bottom of who the real murderer is.

That's the only weak spot in the story. The identity of the real murderer is known much too soon rather than stalling the revelation for better suspense.

Lovely NAN GREY (who resembles blonde Brenda Joyce in so many scenes), is excellent as the love interest. She gives a warm and natural performance as the woman who sympathizes with Griffin's plight. VINCENT PRICE is fine until he has to show madness and descends into overacting with his maniacal laughter. SIR CEDRIC HARDWICKE and ALAN NAPIER set the standard for good acting among the supporting cast. Napier is especially effective as a man tormented by the Invisible Man in a scene that takes place in a lonely wooded area.

There are times when the character of Frank Griffin is written in a way that is most unsympathetic and mean spirited and Price is especially nasty in conveying this aspect of his role. In other words, there's a touch of villainy in his performance.

But the story is a clever one, standing apart from the original INVISIBLE MAN that starred Claude Rains and is well done. Some of the special effects may be a bit creaky but understandably so, and nevertheless the film is a fine example of how far those effects had advanced technically by the '40s.

Well worth watching, especially if you're a fan of Universal's horror films.

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