Working in Dr. Cranley's laboratory, scientist Jack Griffin was always given the latitude to conduct some of his own experiments. His sudden departure, however, has Cranley's daughter Flora worried about him. Griffin has taken a room at the nearby Lion's Head Inn, hoping to reverse an experiment he conducted on himself that made him invisible. Unfortunately, the drug he used has also warped his mind, making him aggressive and dangerous. He's prepared to do whatever it takes to restore his appearance, and several will die in the process.Written by
garykmcd / edited by statmanjeff
On the DVD short documentary, Claude Rains' daughter tells of a time when the two went to see this movie in the theater years after it was made. It was bitterly cold and his face was completely covered by a hat and scarf. When he spoke to ask for the tickets, the attendant immediately recognized his voice and wanted to let them in for free. Rains was quite upset at this and demanded that he pay full price. See more »
The ink spots on the police inspector's face change in between shots. See more »
Man in Pub:
Did you hear about Mrs. Mason's little Willy? Sent him to school and found him buried ten-foot deep in a snow drift.
Man in Pub # 2:
How did they get him out?
Man in Pub:
Brought the fire engine 'round, put the hose pipe in, pumped it backwards and sucked him out.
See more »
The opening credits appear out of thin air. See more »
When the film was released to home video, Universal Studios replaced a snippet of music heard on the radio when Dr. Kemp is reading a newspaper in his house, and the Invisible Man enters through a set of French doors. Universal was unable to secur the rights for the original music and replaced it, covering the original sound effects (the sound of the newspaper and the door latch) in the process. See more »
People tend to use the word "classic" too freely. I can't help but laugh when I hear some of the movies that people call "classics". The term gets thrown around so much that it often looses some of its importance and real meaning. I try to reserve "classic" to a select group of films that I believe have achieved a certain status and have withstood the test of time. And I have no problem putting the label "classic" on The Invisible Man.
James Whale made a lot of great films in the 1930s. Some (Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein, for example) may be better known, but I've always thought of The Invisible Man as the best of the bunch. It's got everything. Terrific performances, incredible special effects, nice comedic touches, and technical brilliance are found in abundance throughout the film.
Terrific Performances: For someone who only has a few seconds of actual screen time, Claude Rains is amazing. His voice creates such a presence that at times it's easy to forget that he's not actually there. As for Una O'Connor, I've seen some people complain about Whale's use of her, but I think she was never better than in The Invisible Man. She's great whether playing the proper landlord showing a new guest to his room or as the overly hysterical woman afraid for her life. The rest of the cast, especially E.E. Clive and Gloria Stuart, is exceptional.
Incredible Special Effects: It's amazing to revisit The Invisible Man and see how well the special effects have withstood the passage of time. They were state-of-the-art in 1933 and they remain impressive today. It took some real craftsmanship to pull-off the invisibility gags seen in The Invisible Man. To me, none is more impressive than the first time we get a glimpse under the bandages while he's eating and we see no lower jaw. Impressive stuff!
Nice Comedic Touches: Billed as a horror film, The Invisible Man actually contains more scenes of humor than horror. I've already mentioned O'Connor, but she's only a small part of the humor in the film. The police, the various frightened passersby, and even Claude Rains himself add to the fun found in The Invisible Man. I'm of the opinion that it never goes overboard, but fits nicely into the plot.
Technical Brilliance: Beyond the special effects, the film is wonderful from a technical standpoint. Lighting, cinematography, and set design are incredible and some of the best of the 30s. Everything looks perfect. In my opinion, Whale never did better. I've always been impressed by the way Whale used his camera as part of the action when many of his contemporaries seemed content with the "plant it and shoot" style of film-making.
The only negative aspect of the film that I can possibly complain about is William Harrigan in the role of Rains' rival, Dr. Arthur Kemp. He's just not as good as those around him. Other than that little quibble, I've got nothing to complain about. I believe it should be easy to see why I, for one, consider The Invisible Man a classic!
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