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The Invisible Man Returns
Year:
1940
Country:
USA
Genre:
Drama, Thriller, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Horror
IMDB rating:
6.5
Director:
Joe May
Forrester Harvey as Ben Jenkins
John Sutton as Doctor Frank Griffin
Alan Napier as Willie Spears
Vincent Price as Geoffrey Radcliffe
Cedric Hardwicke as Richard Cobb (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Cecil Kellaway as Sampson
Storyline: Framed for the murder of his brother, Geoffrey Radcliffe is scheduled to hang. After a visit from his friend Dr. Frank Griffin, he vanishes mysteriously from prison. Police inspector Sampson realizes that Griffin is the brother of the original Invisible Man and has given Geoffrey the formula to aid his escape. Can Geoffrey elude the police dragnet and track down the real murderer? More importantly, can Griffin discover an antidote before the invisibility formula drives Geoffrey insane?
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
HQ DVD-rip 720x480 px 4000 Mb mpeg2video 6861 Kbps mkv Download
DVD-rip 640x480 px 1369 Mb mpeg4 2348 Kbps mkv Download
Reviews
I'm Looking Through You....
Following the release of "Dracula's Daughter" in May 1936, horror fans would have to wait almost three years before getting another fright picture from Universal Studios. With the opening of "Son of Frankenstein" in January 1939, however, the floodgates were opened for the second great wave of Universal horror. And in January 1940, still another sequel was released by the studio, "The Invisible Man Returns." A fairly ingenious follow-up to "The Invisible Man" feature of 1933, which was itself based on H.G. Wells' classic "scientific romance" (as Wells preferred to call such tales) of 1897, the 1940 film was successful enough at the box office to spawn no less than three further sequels! The film is historically important today, of course, inasmuch as it was the very first horror picture to feature Vincent Price, the beloved star who, over the next 50 years, would carve out a place of honor for himself in the Horror Pantheon. But as with Claude Rains in the first film, we do not get to see Price's face here until the final few seconds; otherwise, his mug is under wraps or, well, you know...invisible. That mellifluous voice of his, however, just cannot be mistaken!

The sequel picks up nine years after the original, in which Rains' Jack Griffin, a noted biochemist, had perfected an invisibility formula employing the East Indian herb "duocane," used it on his own person successfully, had rapidly gone mad, failed to come up with an antidote to his serum, and had been shot dead by the constabulary after killing many people himself. Now, his brother, Frank Griffin, uses the same formula on his good friend, Geoffrey Radcliffe, who is on Death Row after having been falsely accused of killing his brother Michael. While Geoffrey's cousin Richard and girlfriend Helen fret uselessly--"They'll shoot him on sight," says the unknowing Richard--the invisible Radcliffe breaks out of jail and prosecutes his search for the real killer. Unfortunately, the same tendency toward madness that the formula had induced in Griffin nine years earlier soon starts to catch up with Radcliffe himself....

"The Invisible Man Returns" boasts any number of fine elements that combine to make it a perfectly valid and effective sequel. Foremost of all, perhaps, is its sterling cast of pros. Price, in his fifth film (the picture was released just two weeks before "Green Hell" and three months before "The House of the Seven Gables"), is just wonderful, whether swathed in bandages or completely out of sight, and his supporting players are all uniformly fine: Cedric Hardwicke, in his first film following "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," as cousin Richard Cobb; Nan Grey (who had appeared in "Dracula's Daughter") as the pretty Helen; John Sutton (who had performed along with Price in "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex" AND "Tower of London" prior to this film) as the faithful and hardworking Dr. Griffin; Cecil Kellaway (who would also appear in "...Seven Gables") as the dogged Scotland Yard Inspector Sampson, who delivers the most sarcastic comments with a lovable, twinkly smile; and an almost unrecognizable Alan Napier (unrecognizable, that is, for those who might recall him as Alfred on TV's "Batman") as Spears, the nasty enforcer at Cobb's colliery factory. The film has been expertly directed by Joe May, a German who in essence launched the career of Fritz Lang, and who would also direct Price and Kellaway in "...Seven Gables," and features wonderful special FX that hold up marvelously well today. Especially impressive are the shots of our Invisible Man as seen through billowing smoke, when he becomes partially visible (it was only during a second viewing that it struck me just why Sampson was constantly puffing cigar smoke into the air), and Radcliffe's materialization at the finale. The film has been beautifully shot in B&W by Milton R. Krasner, here at the outset of what would turn out to be a 40-year career, serving as DOP of such B&W masterpieces as "The Set-Up," "House of Strangers," "All About Eve" and "Deadline U.S.A." His lensing of the outdoor sequences--such as the one in which the invisible Radcliffe torments Spears in a forest glade for information--is especially well done. As for the Invisible Man himself, he is not nearly as nasty a piece of work as in the original film; not nearly as homicidal or maniacal. Still, his speech to Griffin and Helen regarding "a changed world with me as its guiding genius" tips the viewer off that the man is indeed starting to lose his invisible marbles! And as to the film's central mystery--just who did kill brother Michael?--well, that conundrum should be fairly simple to figure out, even for the most dim-witted of viewers (I DID mention that the always hissable Cedric Hardwicke is in the cast, right?). The film is a fairly serious affair, with a bare minimum of the occasional silly humor to be found in many another horror outing of the '40s; by contrast, the next film in the series, "The Invisible Woman," is an out-and-out comedy, and a very funny one, at that! Fast moving, compact, highly clever and often beautiful to look at, "The Invisible Man Returns" is, ultimately, one sequel that really must be, um, seen....
2013-10-17
Clever approach to an "Invisible Man" sequel...
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.
2006-10-28
A reasonable sequel
When a wealthy mine operator (Vincent Price as Geoffrey Radcliffe) is falsely convicted for the murder of his brother and sentenced to death, his fiancée and the brother of the original Invisible Man use the dead scientist's formula to engineer an escape. Of course, the viewer will remember that the formula creates madness as well as invisibility, so Geoffrey Radcliffe must find the real killer, prove his innocence and an antidote to the invisibility formula before he goes mad or is recaptured by the police.

The special effects in this movie rival its predecessor and still hold up as well today as they did then. The plot is a bit far fetched (but is any plot about an invisible man NOT far fetched?), but it works fairly well. Vincent Price is portrayed as a more sympathetic character in this one than Claude Raines was as the original Invisible Man but carries his role well. Sir Cedric Hardwicke is convincing as the villain in this one.

While this is a worthy sequel, I still prefer the original Invisible Man more. This one should appeal to fans of the Universal Horrors and of The Invisible Man in particular.
2008-12-20
A Clever Manipulation of the Story
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.
2015-06-11
Mistaken information
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."
2007-07-17
Quick moving and fun
Geoffrey Radcliffe (Vincent Price) is unjustly accused of murder. Frank Griffin (John Sutton), the brother of the first Invisible Man, injects him with the invisibility potion so he can escape from prison and find the real murderer. But will he be able to find him before the potion drives him mad?

Silly and unbelievable from the beginning but fast-moving. You never really have time to think how stupid the story is. But you're watching this for the special effects--NOT the story. The special effects are incredible--even better than the first. Quite impressive for 1940.

The acting is good. Price has to do all his acting with his voice (you don't see him till the end) but he has that smooth cool voice that carries it. Seeing him at the end so young and without a moustache is quite a surprise! The rest of the cast is just OK--although Nan Grey does try to put something in her thankless love interest role. Cecil Kellaway also has a few good moments as the Chief of Police.

Still this is worth seeing for special effects alone. Just don't examine the story too closely. A 7.
2007-01-13
Different than the original in many ways, but still a dandy film
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.
2006-10-28
A very watchable follow-up film.
"The Invisible Man Returns" is a solid film in its own right. I remember seeing this back in the early 1990s, not long after having seen the 1933 classic.

Vincent Price is brilliantly cast as the main character - his voice already becoming distinctive. Cedric Hardwicke is a good if rather emotionally detached villain.

The plot is a very good one but the running time is a bit too long, by about 10 minutes.

Vincent Price portrays a man who deliberately renders himself invisible, so as to locate and expose the perpetrators of a crime that implicated his innocent brother.
2017-05-22
Excellent Sequel.
Direct Sequel to "The Invisible Man" stars Vincent Price as Geoffrey Radcliffe, owner of a coal mining operation that is framed for the murder of his brother. His friend Dr. Frank Griffin(brother of the original Invisible Man) uses the same serum to render Geoffrey invisible, in order to escape the gallows and find the real murderer. Nan Grey plays Geoffrey's girlfriend Helen. They both must watch him carefully, as he may go insane like Frank's brother did, since that flaw in the serum hasn't been fixed yet, and indeed the symptoms turn up before long... Excellent continuation of the story has fine acting and atmosphere, with a smart script that cleverly references the first film without repeating it. Identity of the real killer may be obvious, but film is briskly directed by Joe May, and remains quite memorable.
2013-10-25
Great follow-up to a classic
"The Invisible Man Returns" is a really fun and entertaining sequel to a classic.

**SPOILERS**

Hours to go before his death, Geoffrey Radcliffe, (Vincent Price) manages to escape from the prison with no trace, forcing the top Scotland Yard Inspector, Sampson (Cecil Kellaway) to the case. When he finds his fiancée Helen, (Nan Grey) waiting for him, he announces his intention of hunting the party responsible for his brother's death that sent him to prison. While the police try to catch him, family friend Frank Griffin, (John Sutton) is trying to perfect the re-invisibility serum which he has difficulty doing. As he starts to go mad from the effects of invisibility, they start to question his sanity until they become convinced that there isn't any way he can return from the process and must use all their powers together to stop him.

The Good News: This was a really fun and entertaining sequel. The invisibility effects, as always in these kinds of films, are consistently excellent, even better than the work done on the original. The old tricks, like walking clothing, floating props and such, are refined and as seamless as one could hope to get. There are times when the handiwork is more impressive than the glut of computer effects today simply because there's a basis of physical reality in the unreal illusions. Besides these, the other, new effects in the film are improved greatly from the already impressive invisibility effects in the original. There's a very entertaining bit in the lab where the scientist is testing an experimental serum on guinea pigs where he uses harnesses in order to keep track of the invisible guinea pigs and the harnesses are constantly running around by themselves. It also works very well when one becomes visible again, showing first the skeleton and then the flesh over that. Another spectacular effect is when Radcliffe takes off his goggles and looks at himself in the mirror. He sees the empty interior of his head, the light clearly shining through the bandages that wrap his head. Very impressive stuff, as well as the effects that allow us to see Geoffrey in outline when cigar smoke is puffed in his face or when he's out on a rainy day. The effects are seamless, and really carry most of the film. Although it doesn't have the black humor of the original, it does have quite a few amusing moments. The hero gets a few choice lines in himself, with one about getting a job haunting a house in particular hilarious. In addition, there are many humorous scenes involving the pursuing policemen that manage to get some really great lines as well. Also on the plus side, the police investigation shows that the police have learned a thing or two from having dealt with an invisible man in the past. The policeman's trick, the nonchalant way he smokes cigars with the intent of capturing his outline in the smoke makes for a very effective scene. The whole sequence, with the capturing of the house for search and using a combination of stationed figures and smoke is fun to watch, leading to the film's highlight. The other big plus is that the film really manages to keep the interest level up. It's always doing something, and that leaves very few segments that aren't interesting or exciting. The conclusion in particular, which is handled well, and the house search scenes come off the best because of this. All together, this was a really noteworthy sequel.

The Bad News: There really isn't a whole lot here that can drag this down. The only major problem is that the film plays pretty much like the first one. Man appears to fiancée as invisible, spends the rest of the film evading the police while continuing on with his original plan, whatever it is. It's pretty much the same, and the lack of any originality, other than a few spots here and there, is pretty disappointing. It's a rehash with few new points, and a little bit more would've been a lot better. It does get a little slow whenever talk about the cure comes up, and the back-and-forth nature of it produces few chills. Better to have introduced it, then only have it mentioned so that some suspense could've been brought up over whether or not it would be completed in time. Beyond these points, though, this is a really fun and entertaining entry in the series.

The Final Verdict: With some minor and really unimportant nags, this is a really great entry in the series and is just as good as the original. That said, it's really nothing that the original didn't do, so if you've seen the original and don't feel like seeing this one, it's not a requirement, but recommended for those who want more or are huge fans of Price.

Today's Rating-PG: Mild Violence
2008-10-28
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