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  • It took Universal Studios seven years to produce this sequel to The Invisible Man, but in some regards, it was worth the wait. Geoffrey Radcliffe (Vincent Price) is an innocent man condemned to death for a murder he didn't commit. At the last minute, Radcliffe's gal pal, Helen (Nan Grey), and the friendly mad doctor, Frank Griffin (John Sutton), decide the only way to save Radcliffe is by injecting him with the invisibility serum invented by Jack Griffin. Radcliffe's invisibility enables him to escape the gallows and easily elude the police led by the wily Inspector Sampson (Cecil Kelloway). Radcliffe figures out the identity of the murderer but his behavior soon borders on madness, unsettling Dr. Griffin and Helen. Should they continue to aid Radcliffe or rat him out to the constabulary? Will Radcliffe remain sane long enough to clear his name or will the law have to gun him down like his phantom predecessor, Jack Griffin?

    This is a real rarity among sequels in that it is nearly as good as the original. It's one of my favorites in this genre. The story moves along briskly, features some intriguing scenes, and offers some occasional humor. The acting is solid. The special effects though primitive by today's standards are still effective. That doesn't mean it is without it share of faults. Chief among them is why they didn't inject Radcliffe earlier instead of waiting till the day of his execution? Or better yet, inject Helen, so she might solve the crime. Speaking of solving the crime, Radcliffe uncovers the real murderer's identity much too easily. Still, I would love to see Universal Studios remake this someday with a woman as the unseen protagonist/fugitive-Thandie Newton would be my choice. But, knowing Universal Studios, I probably couldn't get that lucky.
  • There are a lot of reasons why this 1940 sequel is better than the original INVISIBLE MAN. In the first movie, the Invisible Man was a dilettante, a haughty scientist who shot himself up with the invisibility drug "for kicks." Claude Rains played the character with such a supercilious air that it was hard to care when he lost it all.

    But in this well-written sequel, the Invisible Man is a true hero. Geoffrey Radcliffe is a wealthy gentleman with class, courage, and a sense of humor. Someone has framed him for murder, and with the help of his devoted girl friend and trustworthy company doctor, he sets out to make things right.

    Vincent Price is perfect as Geoffrey. He gives this invisible man plenty of guts, along with goodness, humility, and a wonderfully self-deprecating sense of humor. When madness sets in, of course, Price can babble with the best of them. But this time around, you care. This is a man who ran his business empire for the benefit of the workers, a man who can tease his weeping girl friend about how "lucky" she is not to see his face.

    Ladylike and innocent-looking Nan Grey is a horror legend for her bit role as the waif-like streetwalker in Dracula's Daughter. Here she gets to play the same gentle, sensitive type, only warmer and more womanly. Watching Helen Manson sit up all night watching over her suffering love, falling asleep in her chair, and fainting at the sight of his disfiguring bandages, you will fall in love with her yourself. It's easy to see why Geoffrey loves her enough to risk madness and death to be by her side, and why the villain was willing to stoop to murder for her sake.

    Sir Cedrick Hardwicke is mostly remembered today for playing kindly, kingly old gentlemen in epics like THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. But here he is a ruthless, cold villain, a murderer who fights for greed and gain. The attraction to lovely Helen is only hinted at, just a glance here and a tender word there. But it gives just the right touch of depth and tragedy to an amazingly nuanced performance.

    Just as many critics feel Dracula's Daughter was a deeper film than Dracula, so INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS may well be an improvement over the original classic.

    Long live Universal Horror!
  • While certainly not as good as its original source(sans Claude Rains, sans James Whale), this sequel is very entertaining. It lacks the raw energy of the first film as well as the dark humour. The film begins with Geoffrey Radcliffe about to be executed for a crime we soon learn he did not do. How he gets out of his visit with the executioner is a little matter of drinking a potion given to him by a friend(the brother of the Claude Rains character in the original). In a matter of moments he(Vincent Price's voice) works toward finding his brother's true killer and fending off the madness that comes from drinking the invisibility solution. Price is in fine form though don't expect the hamminess you usually get(a bit disappointing for me). The rest of the cast is very good. Universal actress Nan Grey(from Dracula's Daughter) is lovely, and Cedric Hardwicke actually gives a convincing performance as a villain. Cecil Kellaway and Alan Napier also provide wonderful supporting help. The special effects really shine and are first-rate for their time.
  • The Invisible Man (1933) stands alone as being the greatest adaptation of H.G. Wells' story because it follows the novel's storyline and captures the atmosphere of the original work. The film also has the ability to polish some of the scenes with humor. Like other Universal horror classics, it deserved and got sequels, and though the Invisible Man Returns was a lesser effort, it was far superior than any other attempt to remake the classic (the recently made Hollow Man was down right horrible and, yes, hollow.) The Invisible Man Returns begins by introducing us to the brother of the first film's invisible one who escapes prison using the formula his brother developed. This is a far-fetched and awkward way to create a sequel, but once it's out of the way the rest of the film again captures the formula, fun and atmosphere of the original. Followed with mixed results by The Invisible Woman (comedy), The Invisible Agent, The Invisible Man's Revenge and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (which features the Invisible One).
  • MORD39 RATING: ***(of ****)

    THE INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS is a fine followup to 1933's THE INVISIBLE MAN. Vincent Price has one of his earliest horror roles as a wrongly convicted man made transparent and out on a mission to find the real culprit who murdered his brother and framed him.

    Nan Grey has never looked prettier and lends nice support as the woman who loves Price. Cecil Kellaway is a treat as the suspicious police inspector, and Alan Napier is fun as a detestable villain who gets what he deserves.

    While not as intense as the original, this film surely stands out as one of the finest sequels from Universal's golden age.
  • THE INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS is really the story of Frank Griffin's brother, Geoffrey (VINCENT PRICE), who is wrongly accused of murder and imprisoned. Helping him escape is a doctor (JOHN SUTTON) who injects him with a serum to make him invisible. Griffin then sets about trying to get to the bottom of who the real murderer is.

    That's the only weak spot in the story. The identity of the real murderer is known much too soon rather than stalling the revelation for better suspense.

    Lovely NAN GREY (who resembles blonde Brenda Joyce in so many scenes), is excellent as the love interest. She gives a warm and natural performance as the woman who sympathizes with Griffin's plight. VINCENT PRICE is fine until he has to show madness and descends into overacting with his maniacal laughter. SIR CEDRIC HARDWICKE and ALAN NAPIER set the standard for good acting among the supporting cast. Napier is especially effective as a man tormented by the Invisible Man in a scene that takes place in a lonely wooded area.

    There are times when the character of Frank Griffin is written in a way that is most unsympathetic and mean spirited and Price is especially nasty in conveying this aspect of his role. In other words, there's a touch of villainy in his performance.

    But the story is a clever one, standing apart from the original INVISIBLE MAN that starred Claude Rains and is well done. Some of the special effects may be a bit creaky but understandably so, and nevertheless the film is a fine example of how far those effects had advanced technically by the '40s.

    Well worth watching, especially if you're a fan of Universal's horror films.
  • In general, it seems that sequels seldom live up to the originals. There are just too many examples I can think of when this was the case. In addition, sequels that take an entirely different approach to the original subject matter often are abysmal failures as well (such as the wonderful VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED and it's incredibly awful and saccharine CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED). In light of this, I was very pleasantly surprised to this see that this film, while quite different from the fantastic original, is still an exceptional film.

    Much of the reason for the film being so good was that the film was made by Universal Studios during a very productive period for their horror films. They just knew how to put the whole package together to make a dandy film. Additionally, the cast really helped as well, as Vincent Price (mostly just his voice, as he IS invisible through almost all the film), Cedric Hartwicke, Cecil Kellaway and many others worked together to quite nicely. The writing, also, is a big standout, as the film COULD have easily been just another "hack" sequel. Using bits of humor here and there throughout the film and providing a great ending really made this film worth while.
  • I had watched this twice as a kid on Italian TV and remember loving it; however, as was the case with THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN (1942), when I caught up with it again as an adult via DVD, it proved something of a let down! Mind you, it's still a pretty good film and John P. Fulton's trick work is as brilliant as ever. And yet, I felt that it tried a bit too hard to duplicate those elements which made the original so successful to begin with: the eccentric Englishness so unique to Whale's work, for instance, comes off as somewhat heavy-handed this time around; the very young Vincent Price has yet to come into his own as a horror icon and his lapses into madness are overdone, not matching Claude Rains' menacing delivery. Besides, the identity of the villain is no mystery here! Still, while I particularly missed the wit of the original, Joe May's expert handling and Milton Krasner's effective lighting give the film a suitably Germanic feel at times. Ultimately, I feel that of all the first sequels to the original Universal monster films (BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN [1935], DRACULA'S DAUGHTER [1936], THE MUMMY'S HAND [1940] and FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN [1943]), this one is perhaps the least impressive - as all the others seemed to go in different directions.
  • THE INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS (Universal, 1940), directed by Joe May, is, what is indicated during the opening credits, "a sequel to THE INVISIBLE MAN by H.G. Wells," capitalizes on the success of recent update sequels to old 1930s horror tales. Unlike the resurrections of the Frankenstein Monster in THE SON OF FRANKENSTEIN (1939), and later, Dracula and a new revised Mummy, all of whom have or would be resurrected from the dead through some supernatural means, Claude Rains, who originated the Invisible Man character in 1933, whose Jack Griffin was shot and killed by the police in the conclusion, would not have the power to be brought back from the dead as his monstrous contemporaries had, but to have an introduction to a new invisible man, played with distinction by Vincent Price. This sequel, however, not essentially a horror film, is a blend of science fiction and murder mystery

    Through the first few minutes of the story, it is learned to the viewer through lines of dialog from the servants that a young man named Sir Geoffrey Radcliffe (Vincent Price), sentenced to death for the murder of his brother, Michael, is scheduled for execution by hanging at dawn for the crime for which he is innocent. His fiancée, Helen Manson (Nan Grey), appeals to Geoffrey's cousin, Richard Cobb (Sir Cedric Hardwicke), to have the execution postponed in order to prove his innocence, but there's nothing he can do. Later that night, Geoffrey's friend, Doctor Frank Griffin (John Sutton), brother to the late Jack Griffin, who had experimented with chemicals that cause invisibility, comes to the prison to pay his last respects to Sir Geoffrey hours before his death sentence is to be carried out. Some time later, the guards discover that Sir Geoffrey has escaped and they are completely baffled as to how he had gotten by them without anyone seeing him. Discovering some clothing left behind in his cell, it is Inspector Sampson (Cecil Kellaway) of Scotland Yard who realizes how this was done, especially since he is very much familiar with the Jack Griffin case nine years previously, which causes him to suspect the late scientist's younger brother, Frank, into having something to do with Geoffrey's escape. The next scene then focuses on the movement of bushes and trees in the woods, with a suitcase full of clothes opening up by itself. Sir Geoffrey is now an invisible man, thanks to Griffin for his discovery of a secret formula known as duocaine, which would leave Geoffrey transparent and free to go about to learn the truth as to why he was framed and to clear his name by revealing the true murderer. But the problem is for Griffin to come up with an antidote to prevent Geoffrey from going insane and meeting the same fate as his brother.

    While not up to the wit and pace to THE INVISIBLE MAN, THE INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS done have some added bonuses. It's quite obvious, however, to take notes and compare the original film with its sequel. The leading ladies in both films (Gloria Stuart and Nan Grey) are not only blondes, but play fiancées to the leading character. Claude Rains was virtually unknown to movie audiences when chosen to play the invisible man while Vincent Price has had some exposure in movies since his feature debut in 1938. The one thing both Rains and Price had in common while playing invisible men on screen was their individual distinctive voices. As with the earlier film, the sequel takes time for some prank humor by the new invisible man as he stalks Willie Sphears (Alan Napier), a night watchman through the woods. It is believed that Mr. Sphears, who had testified against him at his trial, might be the sole witness to his brother's murder. At times amusing, this sequence ends with some unpleasantness after Geoffrey takes the fainted Mr. Sphears, ties his feet and arms behind him, and leaving him alone in a room standing helplessly on a stool with his neck placed inside a hanged noose. Special effects, compliments by John Fulton, take precedence throughout the story with Geoffrey removing his goggles, bandages and clothing only to reveal nothing underneath, as well as one interesting highlight where the now wounded and cold Geoffrey is alone in the country, talking to the scarecrow as he "borrows" its clothing for his own use.

    Forrester Harvey, who appeared as Herbert Hall in THE INVISIBLE MAN, returns in this sequel assuming another character role, that of Ben Jenkins. What a welcome added attraction THE INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS would have been had Forrester Harvey and Una O'Connor reprized their original roles as the scared innkeepers encountering another invisible man.

    THE INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS would spawn two more sequels in the 1940s, THE INVISIBLE AGENT (1942) and THE INVISIBLE MAN'S REVENGE (1944), each featuring Jon Hall playing descendants to Jack Griffin, concluding in 1951 when another invisible man meets up with Abbott and Costello. In order not to forget the originator to THE INVISIBLE MAN, a photo of Claude Rains would be evident, as was in THE INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS. The overly familiar instrumental Frank Skinner underscoring used during the closing cast credits of this production would be heard in several other Universal productions of that period, including THE SON OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE TOWER OF London (both 1939), and BLACK Friday (1940), all featuring Boris Karloff.

    THE INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS, available on video cassette and then onto DVD, and had played on several cable channels, including the Sci-Fi Channel in the 1990s, and on American Movie Classics in 1991, and brought back on that channel again from 2000 to 2001. (***)
  • This is a very watchable sequel seven years after the original. This version is less dark and dreary and even contains a little comedy. Vincent Price plays Geoffrey Radcliffe, wrongly convicted of murder and makes use of invisibility to find the real murderer of his brother. This is Price's fifth movie early in his career. His face is seen very little in this sci-fi drama, but his distinct and haunting voice will prove to help him gain stardom.

    A very good supporting cast includes: the legendary Cedric Hardwicke, Cecil Kellaway and Nan Grey. Miss Grey is the stunning love interest. Kellaway usually plays a light comedic role, but this time he plays the part of a Scotland Yard inspector. Hardwicke is more or less that character you can't seem to put your full trust in. In other minor roles are John Sutton, Leyland Hodgson and Ivan Simpson.

    The special effects help this oldie keep its charm. My favorite scene is still when Grey faints after Price unravels his bandages. Still a hoot to watch.
  • In January of 1940 nearly seven years after the release of the first film (a classic in every sense of the word), it's sequel "The Invisible Man Returns" arrived, this time he's played by an American actor - the late and great Vincent Price.

    In The Invisible Man Returns the dapper and refined 6 foot 5 actor portrays the invisible man with a fair degree of effectiveness (though certainly not as spectacularly or as vividly as his British counter-part years earlier) and the film as a whole is a handsomely staged, big-budget sequel that features a good cast - and even better crew backing them up. To put it one way - when the invisible man returned so did the renowned special-effects expert John P. Fulton - whose indelible contributions greatly enhanced the distinctive visual style of The Invisible Man film series and several other early Universal classics. If only the director of this film was as talented as it's special-effect guru, but that's certainly not the case here, the first Invisible Man film benefited from the masterful direction of James Whale. However, this film was directed by a far less talented director, Joe May (a veteran German director of temperamental nature) whose workman-like sense of direction clearly doesn't produce the same levels of energy or enthusiasm. However, if there's one aspect where this film is superior to the first film, it would certainly be from a musical angle, The Invisible Man Returns is blessed with one of the best efforts from the the renowned duo of Hans J. Salter and Frank Skinner; who at the time were Universal Studio's go-to team when a new horror score was needed. I'd also say that The Invisible Man Returns has the edge in terms of it's cinematography, the sequel has a bit more spit and polish to it compared to the original, resulting in an overall smoother visual presentation. You certainly can't fault this film's camera-work, it's beautifully shot from the opening frame to the last.

    However, every time I see The Invisible Man Returns it leaves me with the same impression, though it's a good sequel, it's certainly not in the same league as the original. It's obviously lacking much of the verve and excitement that the first film has in spades, but why is that? First off lets start with the cast, Vincent Price though visually more impressive at a towering 6'5, but the actors voice is definitely not the equal to that of Claude Rains, maybe had he been 30 years older at the time that would have made the difference, as his voice became much more distinctive with age. Secondly director Joe May simply lacked the distinctive flair for sly and witty or "impish" humor that James Whale was well known for. Thirdly the movies script required that the invisible man's actions to be held much more in check this time around, because after all, unlike in the original film, in the sequel the invisible man is the "good guy" and as the rules stipulate the good guy's can't be running around the countryside murdering and maiming. Those are three obvious reasons I could detect as to why this sequel fails to live up to the original - though there may be more. Even so there's still a lot to like about this classic film, such as, the invisibility effects which are every bit as good and in some cases even better then first film, you get a few good hefty doses of those distinctively ego-maniacal rantings and ravings (a side-effect of the invisibility drug), there's the aforementioned musical brilliance, then there's the humor aspect and though it's not as funny as one would hope, it's certainly not devoid of humor, as there are several funny moments seen throughout the film - people think they're seeing ghosts after all.

    And if the Invisible Man Returns doesn't move you, relax, because there were at least three other "Invisible" movies made shortly thereafter in the form of "The Invisible Woman" (1940), "Invisible Agent" (1942) and "The Invisible Man's Revenge" (1944). It's my opinion that none of those three are better then the first two films, but they too have there moments and not surprisingly The Invisible Woman is the lightest and most whimsical of the lot (having none of the demonic charm and vindictive fury that THE Invisible Man, a.k.a. Claude Rains, exudes).

    One last thing, as of yet I still haven't heard a compelling answer as to why they changed the named of the drug from Monocaine to Duocaine. Personally I always preferred Monocaine, simply because it sounds like the more dangerous of the two.
  • Dr. Frank Griffin, is the brother of Dr. Jack Griffin (Rains). Geoffrey Radcliffe (Price) has been framed for the murder of Jack and is sentenced to death by hanging. Dr. Frank Griffin is a good friend of Geoffrey's and helps him to escape prison with invisibility. Can Radcliffe prove his innocence with the police hot on his trail? Can Dr. Griffin find an antidote to help Geoffrey before he goes completely insane?

    Yes the story and casting in this sequel is great - just as good as the original 'Invisible Man (1933)' with Claude Rains. In 'The Invisible Man Returns (1940)' is it the late great Vincent Price who plays Geoffrey Radcliffe, the Invisible Man.

    This is a sequel worth watching. Just like the original film, there is drama sprinkled with comedy - quite enjoyable to watch.

    9.5/10
  • It's certainly challenge to bring back a character when he dies in the original. Often some contrived plot manipulation is used and it doesn't satisfy. Why not do it the way they do here. In this, a respected man, played by Vincent Price, is convicted of a murder he didn't commit. At the eleventh hour, he escapes after being visited by a scientist who knows the secret of invisibility. An injection is used and when the guards open the door to see where he is, he rushes out, taking refuge in the home of his fiancée. The unfortunate reality is that the scientist has not found an antidote so he is trapped in his invisibility, facing the side effect of madness after a period of time. He is also pursued by a determined detective from Scotland Yard. His only option is to recognize his fate, and bring to justice the two men who committed and framed him for murder. There are some really delightful scenes here. This is a very young Vincent Price and he hasn't developed that characteristic voice yet. A very sound sequel.
  • Vincent Price (Radcliffe) is under prison guard and hours away from being hanged when he gets a visit from his doctor friend John Sutton (Griffin). Sutton is the scientist brother of the original Invisible Man and knows some tricks! Price then spends the film seeking justice for his own brother's murder.

    I found this film more funny than creepy. I couldn't take Price's invisible threats seriously and just laughed through most of his dialogue. And, unfortunately, he decides to ham it up when playing someone in the throes of going mad. His maniacal laughter is hilariously bad. As are his sudden outbursts to keep the dogs quiet early on in the film. I also found the foreman Alan Napier (Spears) unbelievable. Not in that his acting is to be faulted, I quite enjoyed his performance, but his accent is atrocious. That accent does not exist anywhere in the North of England or in Scotland or whatever he was trying to do. Shame he didn't just talk properly.

    Apart from the above silliness, the film moves at a good pace. Some of the effects are good, for example the Invisible man's outline being revealed when Police Inspector Cecil Kellaway blows cigar smoke in his direction. There is also an involving chase sequence when the invisible Price comes after his evil relative Cedric Hardwicke (Cobb). The film keeps the attention and I think it won't disappoint those who are fans of this genre.
  • I don't know if this constitutes "blasphemy", but as far as the Universal horrors go, I found this film to be just as enjoyable, if not better than the original "Invisible Man" picture with Claude Rains.

    Vincent Price--who had yet to have his name become synonymous with horror--turns in a fantastic performance as the "Invisible One." His voice and delivery are almost on par with Rains, as Price's character has to take on the burden of invisibility because he's been wrongly accused of murder.

    Price's slow descent into madness is fun to watch--i.e. the dinner table scene when he's going on about how he can rule the world. I also enjoyed Cecil Kellaway as the Scotland Yard Agent, especially some of his witty banter to some of the fumbling policemen we see throughout this picture.

    There's also a great exchange between 2 policemen who are talking about the Invisible One and the supernatural as one of them says "I don't hold with no spiritualism." And the photographic effects by the great John P. Fulton are top notch.

    Overall, "The Invisible Man Returns" rates to me as one of the finer films from Universal's 2nd wave of horror during the 1940s.

    8/10
  • Geoffrey Radcliffe (Vincent Price) is sentenced to hang for a murder he didn't commit. His friend, Dr. Frank Griffin (John Sutton), is the brother of the original Invisible Man and has been continuing his brother's research. Frank uses the invisibility formula to help Geoffrey escape prison so he can prove his innocence. But the side effects of the formula start to drive Geoffrey crazy, just as they did Frank's brother years before.

    Great sequel to the Invisible Man doesn't match that film but it's very entertaining in its own right. Good cast, good special effects, solid story. Vincent Price's first foray into horror films. He's no Claude Rains in the part but he does well. John Sutton is likable, if somewhat bland. Cedric Hardwicke is a slimy villain. Nice part for Alan Napier (Alfred on the '60s Batman TV series) as a crony of Hardwicke's. Pretty Nan Grey gets little to do but be worried. She looks great doing it though. Cecil Kellaway is excellent playing against type as the dogged police inspector on Radcliffe's trail.

    Universal had great luck with the sequels in their various monster series. I can't think of a single one that I would say is a bad movie not worth watching. This one is very good and restarts the Invisible franchise quite nicely. There would be three more Invisible movies to follow in the early '40s, each very different but all enjoyable movies.
  • tomgillespie200220 February 2014
    Released a surprising seven years after James Whale's fantastic and commercially successful The Invisible Man (1933), this sequel faces the problem of creating a story worth telling, without recycling the events and themes that ran through the original and H.G. Wells' novel of the same name. Pleasingly, Returns is an exciting little horror film, that boasts the same fantastic (and Oscar nominated) special effects as the first, as well as offering Vincent Price in one of his very first horror roles.

    Falsely imprisoned for the murder of his brother, Sir Geoffrey Radcliffe (Price), the owner of a mining corporation, awaits the death sentence. As his execution looms close, Radcliffe suddenly disappears from his cell, baffling the guards who are placed under suspicion. Knowing Radcliffe to be innocent, Dr. Frank Griffin (John Sutton), the brother of Claude Rains' original Invisible Man, has injected him with the invisibility drug so Radcliffe may conduct his own investigation into the murder. But with Scotland Yard detective Sampson (Cecil Kellaway) suspecting Griffin and the drug slowly turning him mad, Radcliffe faces a race against time to find the culprit and cure himself of the effects of the drug.

    This is one of those old-fashioned horror films that adhere to all the genre clichés and never really surprises you, but the cast and execution of the film is wholly charming. The plot keeps things interesting, as the sympathetic innocent man is slowly driven to madness that is beyond his control. Price, although only appearing for less than a minute, had yet to hone his acting craft, but manages to carry the film using only that voice which is now so embedded in horror culture. It's not a patch on Whale's masterful original, but The Invisible Man Returns is a worthy sequel, remaining thoroughly entertaining throughout, kick-starting one of many lucrative franchises for Universal Studios.

    www.the-wrath-of-blog.blogspot.com
  • Warning: Spoilers
    For a performance by an actor mostly utilized through voice only, Vincent Price is truly memorable. Yes, he allows that famous profile to be covered in gauze, and on occasion, his voice is muffled. But as the British aristocrat falsely accused of murder, Price is both comical and touching, and in this, the first follow-up to 1933's masterpiece "The Invisible Man", the result is above average.

    There's a truly memorably sequence when he gently talks to a scarecrow as he strips it of its clothes, obviously freezing in his unexposed nudity, and a comical one where he uses his voice to scare a witness of the actual murder he was accused of into thinking he is his own ghost. Price's voice goes from petrified to relieved (as he escapes from death row) to sudden calm, then worried as he faces pending insanity. His voice is truly convincing as he expresses all of these emotions.

    The other memorable performance is by Sir Cedric Hardwicke as the obvious villain, and the final sequence on a coal loading device is pretty frightening. What makes this entry stand above its follow-ups is the fact that the actual invisible man is allowed to be truly worthy of sympathy, and with that, Price's performance is outstanding.
  • The writer of the summary needs to watch the movie again- Vincent Price is NOT related to the Invisible Man Griffin, nor his brother. His character name is Radcliffe.Personally, I don't think that Price was doing that much over-acting- when the part called for him to be deranged,it seems that his portrayal was accurate. Nan Grey plays her part well- and is as lovely as she was in "Dracula's Daughter." I find Cecil Kellaway's Inspector Sampson to be a little too self-assured in parts, but Alan Napier shows a depth of characterization far beyond that which he would show in his role of Alfred the butler in the 1960s "Batman" television show. Though this sequel is not as impressive as Claude Rains "Invisible Man"-it remains a worthy sequel- far better than "Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man."
  • The original Invisible man is true masterpiece,it haunted the audience when the picture went to screen for such daring scenes and amazing story from the great H. G. Wells,after that Universal made this fine sequel,but the magic already has broken,the smell of fresh simply disappeared,however it's quite interesting in many ways yet,the plot sounds odd sometimes but enjoyable,Vincent Price as hollow man keept the pattern of acting in early career!!

    Resume:

    First watch: 2018 / How many: 1 / Source: DVD / Rating: 7.5
  • Woodyanders28 September 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    Geoffrey Radcliffe (the always excellent Vincent Price) gets sentenced to death by hanging after he's framed for the murder of his brother. Desperate to clear his name before it's too late, Radcliffe takes an experimental drug that makes him invisible so he can find the real killer only to discover that said drug also causes him to go insane.

    Director Joe May, working from a clever script by Curt Siodmak and Lester Cole, keeps the engrossing and entertaining story moving along at a brisk pace, makes neat use of the mist-shrouded forest sets, and further spruces things up with amusing touches of spot-on humor. Moreover, Price makes for a strong and sympathetic lead; he receives sound support from Cedric Hardwicke as conniving bastard Richard Cobb, Nan Grey as concerned girlfriend Helen Manson, John Sutton as the helpful Dr. Frank Griffin, Cecil Kellaway as wily inspector Sampson, Alan Napier as mean mining boss Willie Spears, and Forrester Harvey as doddery old-timer Ben Jenkins. Kudos are also in order for Milton R. Krasner's sharp black and white cinematography and the robust score by Hans J. Salter and Frank Skinner. The snazzy old school practical effects hold up pretty well. A fun film.
  • When Claude Rains starred in The Invisible Man he encountered the unique problem of playing an invisible man. Why it could never be done on the silent screen. You have to use your voice and only your voice to create your character and hold the interest. In this case and in the case of Vincent Price you had a pair of classically trained players who were more than up to the challenge of men who conquered the secret of invisibility. But said secret carries with it the price that it also renders those that use the formula will go mad.

    For Vincent Price he has nothing to lose because he's been framed for his brother's murder. Price and his brother were respected industrialists in the midland area of England. Now he's a fugitive who has sought the help of John Sutton the brother of the late Claude Rains who has continued the experiments in invisibility to both find a safe reagent and prevent the psychosis that is a side effect.

    Universal Studios if they could have might worked it out so that Rains could have continued, but he had no contract with them. Neither did Price really, but he certainly bought the same standards of classical training and a superb speaking voice critical to the role. It's no coincidence that the later remakes were either played for laughs or were much inferior to the first two.

    The Invisible Man Returns got an Oscar nomination for special effects and they are the equal to the original. A fine cast of supporting are well cast in the roles that support Price in his quest for truth and against his own increasing madness.
  • No, he doesn't. Although credited on screen as a sequel, this is only a follow-up in the loosest terms with the invisibility serum transported into a new plot with new characters. Misleading as the title may be, the film benefits by placing its own spin on the idea rather than constantly borrowing from the first film or heavily referencing it. The movie is also blessed by a (mainly vocal) early Vincent Price performance as the slowly maddening protagonist - a man who has used the serum to escape capital punishment for a crime he did not commit. While mainly a drama, there are some very funny moments as Price taunts those who have wronged him by pretending to be a ghost. He also has some very human moments as he desperately borrows a scarecrow's clothes, talking to the scarecrow like a dear friend in the process. The screenplay here only ever feels half-baked though with Price's search for those who framed him constantly taking a back seat to the police tracking him down. The antagonists are not particularly memorable either and Price solves the mystery a tad too early in, with the film gaining most of its zest from Price evading the law. His evasions are, however, quite clever - especially when the police try to 'smoke' him out and the special effects here are excellent throughout (a struggling invisible hamster is one of the film's best effects, if a hardly showy one). The dialogue is well scripted too. "Take away one of man's senses and you render him helpless," muses Price at one point, lamenting humankind's debatable inferiority to instinct-based animals.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Vincent Price stars in "The Invisible Man Returns", and it's generally considered to be his first horror film, 13 years before "House of Wax" firmly cemented him as a star of the genre. He plays Geoffrey Radcliffe, owner of a coal mining operation. Geoffrey was wrongly convicted for the murder of his brother, but his friend Frank Griffin (John Sutton), helps him at the last possible second, before Geoffrey is due to be executed. You see, Frank is the younger brother of the late Jack Griffin, villain of the first film, and he too is able to turn a man invisible. Geoffrey therefore is able to escape from prison and put into motion the plans for proving himself innocent. But it remains to be seen if he can do so before succumbing to insanity, just as Jack once did.

    Any fan of Price needs to see this one. He's at his theatrical best in scenes where Geoffrey begins to go mad and rants about his potential for power. He also elicits a great deal of sympathy from the viewer in his subtler moments, such as when he's in the arms of his girlfriend Helen Manson (beautiful Nan Grey). But the whole main cast is absolutely fine. Cedric Hardwicke is fun as the villain of the piece, as is a perfectly squirrelly Alan Napier as his associate. Cecil Kellaway is another delight to watch, playing the dedicated police inspector on the case.

    Directed by Joe May (who also shares story credit with Curt Siodmak, the busy genre screenwriter of the era), "The Invisible Man Returns" is solidly entertaining, although it functions more as crime thriller than horror film. Therefore, it doesn't go for suspense or old school atmosphere all that often. The special effects aren't quite as impressive as they were for the original film, but they're still pretty good. Just as in "The Invisible Man", there's a noticeable accent on comedy, maybe too much so for some viewers.

    Worthy viewing for fans of 1930s and 40s Universal horror; followed by "The Invisible Woman".

    Seven out of 10.
  • 1940's THE INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS was the first sequel to the Claude Rains original, in which Vincent Price (in only his fifth feature) inherits the mantle of the transparent protagonist, in a plotline that would become frequently (over)used in films like Mexico's "The New Invisible Man" from 1958, namely 'invisible protagonist tracks down visible antagonist.' Director Joe May was a temperamental German whose brief tenure at Universal produced some decent films like "The House of Fear" and "The House of the Seven Gables," but his inability to work quickly and within budget proved fatal to his career. His most important hiring was bringing over screenwriter Curt Siodmak, responsible for films like "Black Friday," "The Wolf Man," "Invisible Agent," "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man," "Son of Dracula," "House of Frankenstein," and "The Beast with Five Fingers," and pulp novels such as "Donovan's Brain" and "Hauser's Memory." Joining Price from the cast of "Tower of London" were leading lady Nan Grey as Price's fiancée Helen Manson and John Sutton (later reunited with Price in "Return of the Fly"), cast as the younger brother of Rains' Jack Griffin, inheriting the secret of invisibility but not the antidote. Sentenced to hang for the murder of his brother Michael, Price's Sir Geoffrey Radcliffe mysteriously vanishes from his cell on the fateful morning, while Scotland Yard Inspector Sampson (Cecil Kellaway) keeps an eye on Dr. Frank Griffin at Radcliffe Collieries. Current supervisor Richard Cobb (Sir Cedric Hardwicke), Sir Geoffrey's devoted cousin, has appointed drunken scruff Willie Spears (Alan Napier) as mine foreman, which doesn't sit well with the workers, so the Invisible Man poses as a ghost to loosen the frightened man's tongue. Incredibly, it was Cobb who bashed Michael's head in, neatly framing Sir Geoffrey so he could acquire the mine and Helen too. Unable to weasel a confession out of Cobb, Sir Geoffrey spends an evening of frivolity with Helen and Frank, the effects of duocane (monocane in the original) almost lighting up his brain before making good his escape. The final showdown involves Spears, Cobb, and the Invisible Man, yet only one may survive. John P. Fulton's special effects were nominated for an Oscar, the final transformation even more detailed than Claude Rains, the 28 year old Vincent Price at the top of his game, later reprising his role in the final gag of "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein." Not until 1953's "House of Wax" did he return to the horror genre, a fixture by the end of the 50s. Precious little humor can be found on this occasion but Forrester Harvey is back as a caretaker (Herbert Hall in the 1933 original), and Harry Stubbs is good for a laugh as a nosy bobby.
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