The Invisible Man
Carl Laemmle jr for Universal
directed by James Whale
starring Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, William Harrigan, Henry Travers, Una O'Connor, Forrester Harvey, Holmes Herbert, E.E. Clive, Dudley Digges, Harry Stubbs, Donald Stuart, Merle Tottenham, Robert Adair, Bob Reeves, Crauford Kent, John Merivale, John Carradine
screenplay by R.C.Sherriff, based on the novel by H.G.Wells, music by Heinz Roemheld, special effects by John P.Fulton
The Invisible Man, Universal's Invisible Man, Universal horror cycle
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A bandaged man (Claude Rains) rents a room at a country inn but
insists that he is left in peace at all times to work on an important
experiment., but the innkeeper's (Forrester Harvey) wife (Una O'Connor) is
constantly getting on his nerves and way too nosey bor him to concentrate,
and before long his secret is out: Beneath all his bandages, he is
invisible. Now revealed to be invisible, the invisible man plays a few
mean (and criminal) pranks on the villagers before he disappears ...
Initial reports about the invisible man are ridiculed, but after a time
(and way more, way meaner pranks), the existence of the invisible man is
taken for a fact and he is put on the most wanted list. The invisible man
meanwhile has taken abode by his former friend Kemp (William Harrigan),
whom he blackmails into helping him, but who tries to doublecross him and
calls the police - so the invisible man promises to kill him, and despite
all precautions taken by the police, he keeps his promise.
Ultimately only his former fiancée Flora (Gloria Stuart) and her
scientist father Cranley (Henry Travers), his former mentor, stand between
the invisible man who is by now raving mad and his ultimate triumph, but
in the end, something as trivial as snow - on which his footprints can be
seen - leads to his downfall and subsequent death.
Other than with his previous Frankenstein,
which threw its source novel pretty much out of the window but wound up to
be a tremendous success both commercially and artistically, this time
around, james Whale sticks pretty close to the novel the film is based on,
H.G.Wells' The Invisible Man. Be that as it may, James Whale
(again) succeeds in not turning the film into a boring literary adaptation
but an amazing piece of entertainment full of wit and black humour that
today works pretty much as well as it did when it was first released - and
maybe even better when compared to comparable fare from recent years ...
Simply put, The Invisible Man is a great film and a deserved classic,
with James Whale on top of his game. Definitely recommended !