Total Pageviews

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October 8- The Invisible Man (1933)

Claude Rains as the Invisible Man
Una O'Connor as the shrieking innkeeper Jenny Hall
Continuing their theme of making adaptations of classic novels, Universal Studios decided to film the H.G. Well's novel The Invisible Man. Originally, Boris Karloff was cast for the lead role of Dr. Jack Griffin, but withdrew due to contract disputes with producer Carl Laemmle. Claude Rains, a famous British actor at the time, was given the lead role, instead.

In the film, Griffin enters an inn wrapped in bandages. When he is discovered to be invisible by the townspeople, Griffin starts to terrorize the town. The invisibility is the result of a drug experiment that made Griffin invisible. Griffin escapes to the home of Dr. Kemp (played by William Harrigan), a fellow assistant of Dr. Cranley (played by Henry Travers), and orders Kemp to be his "visible partner." Meanwhile, Griffin only confides in 2 people, Dr. Kemp and Dr. Cranley's daughter, Flora (played by Gloria Stuart) about his secret. Griffin attempts to retrieve some research data from his room at the inn to find that a group of police are inspecting the room he was renting.

It is revealed that the drug Griffin took in order to become invisible is slowly driving him insane. A plan is devised to capture Griffin and he is chased away from town. Griffin takes refuge in a barn, where a farmer discovers Griffin sleeping in the hay, and the police are notified. The police surround the barn and when Griffin comes out, a cop mortally shoots Griffin, killing him. The Invisible Man then admits to Flora on his deathbed that he shouldn't have tampered with the idea of invisibility.

This movie has an amazing story and the actors/actresses in the film perform well, but the best parts of the movie are the parts where Griffin is actually shown on the screen to be invisible. These kinds of special effects were considered extraordinary for the time. All in all, it's a top notch movie. Give it a try.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree that this is a top notch movie. But it's more than that, actually. The Invisible Man tops my list of favorite horror films, certainly my favorite Universal horror classic. I love it because it is so creepy and funny at the same time. And you have the great Claude Rains giving a performance - with his voice. Rains does more with his voice than most other actors can do with their whole bodies. What a job he does! And, yes, the invisible scenes are spectacular. But isn't Rains covered in the bandages and sun glasses really cool as well? That's when we get to see his hand movements and his wiry little frame strutting around, mad as a hatter. He is, after all, a mass murderer. Let's not forget, he murders hundreds in the train crash he causes. And his killing of Dr. Kemp is worthy of Hannible Lector and the delight he takes in relishing every moment of Kemp's fear and death. Many great set pieces, like his first meeting with Kemp when we get to know Griffin and what his plans are. The ending in the barn. And how about the cameo from John Carradine on the phone? All in all, a gruesome and macabrely funny film done to perfection by the master, James Whale. Must viewing!