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Invisible Man
     

The Invisible Man

4.6 5
Director: James Whale, Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, Henry Travers

Cast: James Whale, Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, Henry Travers

 

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A mysterious stranger, his face swathed in bandages and his eyes obscured by dark spectacles, has taken a room at a cozy inn in the British village of Ipping. Never leaving his quarters, the stranger demands that the staff leave him completely alone. Working unmolested with his test tubes, the stranger does not notice when the landlady inadvertently walks into his

Overview

A mysterious stranger, his face swathed in bandages and his eyes obscured by dark spectacles, has taken a room at a cozy inn in the British village of Ipping. Never leaving his quarters, the stranger demands that the staff leave him completely alone. Working unmolested with his test tubes, the stranger does not notice when the landlady inadvertently walks into his room one morning. But she notices that her guest seemingly has no head! The stranger, one Jack Griffin, is a scientist, who'd left Ipping several months earlier while conducting a series of tests with a strange new drug called monocane. He returns to the laboratory of his mentor, Dr. Cranley (Henry Travers), where he reveals his secret to onetime partner Dr. Kemp (William Harrigan) and former fiancee Flora Cranley (Gloria Stuart). Monocane is a formula for invisibility, and has rendered Griffin's entire body undetectable to the human eye. Alas, monocane has also had the side effect of driving Griffin insane. With megalomanic glee, Griffin takes Kemp into his confidence, explaining how he plans to prove his superiority over other humans by wreaking as much havoc as possible. At first, his pranks are harmless; then, without batting an eyelash, he turns to murder, beginning with the strangling of a comic-relief constable. When Kemp tries to turn Griffin over to the police, he himself is marked for death. Despite elaborate measures taken by the police, Griffin is able to murder Kemp, considerately taking the time to describe his homicidal methods to his helpless victim. After a reign of terror costing hundreds of lives, Griffin is cornered in a barn, his movements betrayed by his footsteps in the snow. Mortally wounded by police bullets, Griffin is taken to a hospital, where he regretfully tells Flora that he's paying the price for meddling into Things Men Should Not Know. As Griffin dies, his face becomes slowly visible: first the skull, then the nerve endings, then layer upon layer of raw flesh, until he is revealed to be Claude Rains, making his first American film appearance. So forceful was Rains' verbal performance as "The Invisible One" that he became an overnight movie star (after nearly twenty years on stage). Wittily scripted by R.C. Sherriff and an uncredited Philip Wylie, and brilliantly directed by James Whale, The Invisible Man is a near-untoppable combination of horror and humor. Also deserving of unqualified praise are the thorouhgly convincing special effects by John P. Fulton and John Mescall. With the exception of The Invisible Man Returns, none of the sequels came anywhere close to the quality of the 1933 original. Trivia alert: watch for Dwight "Renfield" Frye as a bespectacled reporter, Walter Brennan as the man whose bicycle was stolen, and John Carradine as the fellow in the phone booth who's "gawt a plan to ketch the h'invisible man."

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
James Whale's The Invisible Man was a new kind of horror movie in 1933--one that made audiences laugh almost as much as it frightened them. Whale might simply have relied on the dazzling impact of John Fulton's special effects, which did an extraordinary job of creating the illusion of an invisible man on screen. Instead, he challenged his audience's expectations by playing many of the key scenes for laughs, such as that of the shirt dancing around the room while the police officer chases it; the scenes between the inn keeper (Forrester Harvey) and his hysterical wife (Una O'Connor); and the confusion of various characters trying to describe what they've seen (or, more properly, haven't). Audiences feel as though they've seen two films for the price of one, and the mixing of genres and moods worked so well that Whale was emboldened to try for even more extremes of humor, irony, and horror in his next major movie, The Bride of Frankenstein, 18 months later, and succeeded even further beyond anyone's expectations, creating that rare sequel that outstrips its predecessor. It is on that film, and The Invisible Man, that much of Whale's 70-year-plus reputation as a master filmmaker and horror creator rest, and from these two movies that dozens of modern filmmakers, from Wes Craven and Tobe Hooper to Tim Burton, derived much of the inspiration for their work and their careers.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/04/2013
UPC:
0025192178269
Original Release:
1933
Rating:
NR
Source:
Universal Studios
Time:
1:12:00
Sales rank:
33,341

Special Features

Now you see him: The Invisible Man revealed; Production photographs; Feature commentary by film historian Rudy Behlmer; 100 years of Universal: unforgettable characters; Trailer gallery

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Claude Rains Jack Griffin/The Invisible One
Gloria Stuart Flora Cranley
Henry Travers Dr. Cranley
William Harrigan Doctor Kemp
Una O'Connor Mrs. Jenny Hall
Forrester Harvey Mr. Herbert Hall
Holmes Herbert Chief of Police
E.E. Clive Jaffers
Dudley Digges Chief of Detectives
Harry Stubbs Inspector Bird
Donald Stuart Inspector Lane
Merle Tottenham Milly
John Merivale Boy
Jameson Thomas Doctor
John Carradine Cockney informer
Walter Brennan Bit Part
Dwight Frye Bit Part

Technical Credits
James Whale Director
Arthur Edeson Cinematographer
John P. Fulton Special Effects
Charles Hall Art Director
W. Franke Harling Score Composer
Ted Kent Editor
Carl Laemmle Producer
John Mescall Special Effects
Jack P. Pierce Makeup
R.C. Sherriff Screenwriter

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The Invisible Man 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kjhproductions More than 1 year ago
the best movie ever made
LPR More than 1 year ago
I think this is one of the finest performances ever. Not actually seeen until the last 2 minutes of the film, this performance is entirely audible.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago