6.7/10
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The Invisible Ray (1936)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller | 20 January 1936 (USA)
A scientist becomes murderous after discovering, and being exposed to the radiation of, a powerful new element called Radium X.

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(screenplay), (original story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Dr. Janos Rukh (as Karloff)
... Dr. Felix Benet
... Diane Rukh
... Ronald Drake
... Mother Rukh
... Sir Francis Stevens
... Lady Arabella Stevens
... Professor Meiklejohn (Mendelssohn in end credits)
Paul Weigel ... Monsieur Noyer
Georges Renavent ... Chief of the Surete (as Georges Renevant)
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Storyline

Visionary scientist Janos Rukh convinces a group of scientists and supporters to mount an expedition to the African continent to locate and study an ancient meteorite of great significance. He exposes himself to the highly toxic radiation of the meteorite, and while an antidote devised by Dr. Benet saves him from death by radiation poisoning, his naked touch causes instant death to others. Back in London, the benefits of the meteorite's controlled radiation offer Dr. Benet an opportunity to restore eyesight to the blind. The antidote's toxicity excites Prof. Rukh into paranoid rages as he seeks revenge against the members of his expedition, who he accuses of stealing his discovery for their own glory. Written by Sister Grimm <srgrimm@teleport.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Delving into new, strange fields of mystery! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

20 January 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le rayon invisible  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Early in the film, Janos Rukh projects a view of the Earth as seen from outer space. The sound effect of the meteor approaching the Earth was used continually by Universal Pictures as that of the rocket ships in its Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers movie serials. See more »

Goofs

After Bela Lugosi takes an ultraviolet photo of the eyes of the deceased Sir Francis Stevens and turns out the bright light, Sir Francis is clearly seen blinking his eyes and moving fingers on his right hand again. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Felix Benet: I believe that this city is at the mercy of a madman whose body is an engine of destruction.
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Crazy Credits

At the end: "A Universal Cast is Worth Repeating." This credit appeared on many Universal films of that era, not just "The Invisible Ray". It did not, however, appear on the cast list for the 1936 "Show Boat", which Universal also made. See more »

Connections

Featured in Lugosi: Hollywood's Dracula (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

The Wedding March
(1843) (uncredited)
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61"
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played on an organ after the wedding
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User Reviews

 
Sci Fi Caviar
6 April 2006 | by See all my reviews

One doesn't get to enjoy this gem, the 1936 Invisible Ray, often. But no can forget it. The story is elegant. Karloff, austere and embittered in his Carpathian mountain retreat, is Janos Rukh, genius science who reads ancient beams of light to ascertain events in the great geological past…particularly the crash of a potent radioactive meteor in Africa. Joining him is the ever-elegant Lugosi (as a rare hero), who studies "astro-chemistry." Frances Drake is the lovely, underused young wife; Frank Lawton the romantic temptation; and the divine Violet Kemble Cooper is Mother Rukh, in a performance worthy of Maria Ospenskya.

The story moves swiftly in bold episodes, with special effects that are still handsome. It also contains some wonderful lines. One Rukh restores his mother's sight, he asks, "Mother, can you see, can you see?" "Yes, I can see…more clearly than ever. And what I see frightens me." Even better when mother Rukh says, "He broke the first law of science." I am not alone among my acquaintance in having puzzled for many many years exactly what this first law of science is.

This movie is definitely desert island material.


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