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The Invisible Woman (1940)

6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 971 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 15 critic

An attractive model with an ulterior motive volunteers as guinea pig for an invisibility machine.

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(story), (story), 3 more credits »
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Title: The Invisible Woman (1940)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Professor Gibbs
...
Richard Russell
...
George (as Charlie Ruggles)
Oskar Homolka ...
Blackie
Edward Brophy ...
Bill
Donald MacBride ...
Foghorn
...
Mrs. Jackson
...
Anne Nagel ...
Jean
Kathryn Adams ...
Peggy
...
Marie
...
Growley
Mary Gordon ...
Mrs. Bates
Thurston Hall ...
Hudson
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Storyline

Eccentric Professor Gibbs, brilliant but impractical, invents an invisibility machine and advertises for a guinea pig. What he gets is Kitty Carroll, an attractive, adventurous model, who thinks being invisible would help her settle a few scores. Complications arise when three comic gangsters steal the machine to use on their boss. But they fail to reckon with the Revenge of the Invisible Woman! Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The YEAR'S FUNNIEST FUN! (original print ad - mostly caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 December 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Mulher Invisível  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Margaret Sullavan, who owed Universal one picture on an old contract, was originally assigned the starring role. With more attractive roles being floated her way, she balked at appearing in the film, feeling it was beneath her. When she failed to appear for the rehearsals, the studio slapped her with a restraining order preventing her from working anywhere. Eventually she agreed to fulfill her contract by appearing in Back Street (1941) and Virginia Bruce stepped into the role. See more »

Goofs

When the butler trips down the stairs he throws the tray twice. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Attorney: Where is he? Where is he? Get up! Get up!
George: I am up. I was up. And I've been up all night. I would have stayed up if you hadn't knocked me down.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Invisible (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Lady Vanishes and Laughs Appear
29 January 2003 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

Dispensing with the melodramatic excesses of Universal's previous "Invisible Man" films, The Invisible Woman aims strictly for laughs in this dated but still enjoyable comedy. The film puts to good use the considerable leering talents of John Barrymore. Allegedly, he ad-libbed his way through the entire film. Luckily, for him the plot was hardly rocket science. The eccentric Professor Gibbs (Barrymore) invents a weird contraption that under the right circumstances bestows temporary invisibility. What he needs is someone to act as a guinea pig. So, he does what any self-respecting wacko would do in such a situation--he places an ad in the local newspaper. Enter Kitty Carroll (Virginia Bruce), an eye-catching model with a spunky attitude. Kitty is eager to become invisible so she can teach her boss, a grouchy sourpuss if there ever was one, a much needed lesson in humility. Even having to run about in the altogether in order to be invisible doesn't deter her. The sponsor of these shenanigans (John Howard) is a fatuous moneybags who has lost his fortune and is in need of another. He is irresistibly drawn to the shapely specter like a magnet.

Things become more complicated after Gibb's ad makes its way down to the Mexican hideout of mobster Blackie Cole (Oscar Homolka). He wants the invisibility machine for his own nefarious purposes. Fortunately, for law-abiding citizens, Blackie's saddled with three moronic henchmen. Consequently, Blackie and his gang don't stand a ghost of a chance against the clever and resourceful invisible woman.

Though the special effects for this film are poor by any standards, a talented and likable cast of comical characters overcomes this shortcoming to make this one of the best films in Universal's "invisible series." Oddly enough, Virginia Bruce wasn't the first choice for the role, Margaret Sullivan was, but she sued Universal to avoid doing the film. Ms. Sullivan lost the case but Universal decided not to use her anyway. Viewers were better off as a result. The studio would be wise to update and remake this movie with someone like Charlize Theron in the lead.


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