The Invisible Man (1933)

TV-PG   |    |  Horror, Sci-Fi


The Invisible Man (1933) Poster

A scientist finds a way of becoming invisible, but in doing so, he becomes murderously insane.


7.7/10
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  • Claude Rains and James Whale in The Invisible Man (1933)
  • Claude Rains in The Invisible Man (1933)
  • Claude Rains and Gloria Stuart in The Invisible Man (1933)
  • Claude Rains in The Invisible Man (1933)
  • The Invisible Man (1933)
  • Gloria Stuart and Henry Travers in The Invisible Man (1933)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


5 October 2005 | The_Void
9
| Visibly stunning!!!
James Whale is, for good reason, most famous for his Frankenstein films. However, better than both (albeit marginally) is this film - The Invisible Man. When I first saw this, I couldn't believe that it's over seventy years old and upon a second viewing; the film just gets better and better. Considering the time in which it was made, The Invisible Man is one of the most amazing films of all time. The special effects are what really make the film. CGI has pretty much spoilt this sort of reaction to a movie. The Invisible Man really has that 'how did they do it?' feel, which movie audiences of yesteryear so often enjoyed, and it's done such a good job with it that I'm still wondering today. The plot gives way to lots of trickery and visual magic as it follows a mad scientist who has turned himself invisible. However, things aren't so simple because one of the drugs he used has properties that can turn a man insane; and this side of the drug has had a huge effect on our man. Believing he can take over the world, he recruits the help of one of his fellow scientists and sets about a reign of invisible terror.

You would think that it would be hard to convince an audience that one of your characters is invisible; but Whale makes it look easy! Claude Rains spends much of the film either under the cover of bandages or not even in it, but it doesn't matter because it's not him but his voice that makes the performance. The fiendishness of his voice is compelling and pure evil, and I don't believe that there is a better man in existence for this role. There isn't a lot of physical acting for him to do, but this is made up for with a dazzling array of special effects. We get to see a shirt move on it's own, things fly around rooms and havoc is caused. It really shows Whale's genius to pull this off. Whale is best known as a horror director, but it's obvious that he has a great respect for comedy also as his Frankenstein films were very tongue-in-cheek, and so is this film. The scenes that see the invisible man causing mayhem are hilarious, and will delight anyone who sees the film. Whale's ability to entertain is absolute, and that is why the films he made for the studio were always the biggest successes. The Invisible Man is one of the greatest achievements in cinema history, and anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong!

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Boris Karloff had been Universal's original choice for the role as the Invisible Man. Karloff was said to have turned it down because he would not be seen on screen. In reality a quarrel with director James Whale broke up their relationship, and the director decided he wanted someone with more of an "intellectual" voice and Karloff's marked lisp had also become an issue. Whale selected Claude Rains after accidentally hearing Rains' screen test being played in another room. Until this film, Rains had primarily been a stage actor. Although he had appeared in one silent movie, Build Thy House (1920), this was his first sound film.


Quotes

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.


Goofs

A British Police station has the American words 'Police Department' spelled out on the door.


Crazy Credits

The opening credits appear out of thin air.


Alternate Versions

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.


Soundtracks

Hearts and Flowers
(1893) (uncredited)
Music from "Wintermärchen" by
Alphons Czibulka
Played on a radio
(re-release version only)

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Horror | Sci-Fi

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