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
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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