A mysterious man, whose head is completely covered in bandages, wants a room. The proprietors of the pub aren't used to making their house an inn during the winter months, but the man insists. They soon come to regret their decision. The man quickly runs out of money, and he has a violent temper besides. Worse still, he seems to be some kind of chemist and has filled his room with messy chemicals, test tubes, beakers and the like. When they try to throw him out, they make a ghastly discovery. Meanwhile, Flora Cranley appeals to her father to do something about the mysterious disappearance of Dr. Griffin, his assistant and her sweetheart. Her father's other assistant, the cowardly Dr. Kemp, is no help. He wants her for himself. Little does Flora guess that the wild tales, from newspapers and radio broadcasts, of an invisible homicidal maniac are stories of Dr. Griffin himself, who has discovered the secret of invisibility and gone mad in the process.Written by
In this movie the Invisible Man is a villain. The TV series The Invisible Man (2000) presented him in a sympathetic, humorous light. See more »
When Griffin threatens Kemp by the open window in the sitting room, Kemp's left hand jumps on and off the desk 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 »
Claude Rains is the only actor in the film whose character is identified in the credits. We are not told which roles the other actors play, even though the cast is listed twice: at the beginning and at the end. Rains is billed as "The Invisible One" in the opening credits and as "The Invisible Man" in the closing credits. 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 secure 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 »
Here We Go Gathering Nuts in May
Traditional children's song
Sung a cappella by Claude Rains See more »
Works Very Well
This film version of the H.G. Wells science fiction classic works very well. It has a number of strengths, but it benefits most of all from James Whale's direction, creativity, and technical excellence. Both the flashier aspects of the movie (such as the "invisibility" effects) and also most of the basic elements are done with skill.
The story is for the most part based on the one main idea of "The Invisible Man" who combines his scientific genius with a generous supply of madness. The story is interesting enough in itself, and of course it provides all kinds of opportunities for visual tricks. Whale hits just the right balance in making good use of these opportunities without over-indulging himself.
The visual effects themselves are of excellent quality, and they are far better than all but the very best of the present-day computer imagery. While it is usually rather easy to spot which parts of a movie are computer-generated, Whale's effects are all but seamless, with the exception of a handful of brief moments. They are often quite impressive, without resorting to tired devices, such as explosions and the like, in order to impress those with shorter attention spans.
Claude Rains does quite well for having such limitations on what he could do. The rest of the cast is solid, if mostly unspectacular, letting the story do the work. Una O'Connor somewhat overdoes it with the screaming this time, but otherwise the characters are believable. The acting may seem slightly quaint to those who are accustomed to the pretentious styles of the present generation of performers, but it's certainly better than the grating, self-important performances in some of the recent movies of the same genre.
While the story does not have the thematic depth or the suggestive imagery of horror classics like "Frankenstein" or "Dracula", this adaptation gets everything it can out of the material, telling the story in an entertaining fashion and with technical skill.
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