Claude Rains delivers a remarkable performance in his screen debut as a mysterious doctor who discovers a serum that makes him invisible. Covered by bandages and dark glasses, Rains arrives at a small English village and a... more »ttempts to hide his amazing discover. But the same drug which rends him invisible slowly drives him to commit acts of unspeakable terror. Based on H.G. Well' classic novel and direct by the master of macabre James Whale, The Invisible Man no only fueled a host of sequels but features some special effects that are still imitated today.« less
Jon H. (vLame) from LONG BEACH, CA Reviewed on 2/28/2009...
Really good movie full of camera trickery and creepy scences, not really scary but it is totally understandable why it is a classic. 8/10
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
An Allegory of the Outcasts of Society
Michael R Gates | Nampa, ID United States | 09/27/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jack Griffin is a brilliant scientist who has some ideas that his peers think dangerous and unethical. Not one to be dissuaded, Griffin successfully experiments on himself, becoming the first human to be rendered invisible. Unfortunately, prolonged invisibility--or possibly the invisibility drug itself, as his peers had warned--begins to deteriorate Griffin's mind, and he soon becomes a power-hungry killer bent on revenge.Though rarely seen in the film due to the special effects and costuming demanded by the part, Claude Rains does a dynamic job in the role of Jack Griffin. His gravelly voice and vocal histrionics serve perfectly in delivering to the audience Griffin's descent into emotional hell. And James Whale's direction is as brilliant as ever, creating the appropriate mood and atmosphere as we follow a madman's ravaging of the English countryside.One of only four Horror films directed by James Whale for Universal, THE INVISIBLE MAN is a work that some historians and critics regard as a veiled allegory of the director's own publically covert homosexuality. While FRANKENSTEIN and BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN also depict societal outcasts in a sympathetic light, the eponymous character in THE INVISIBLE MAN is a character in a situation that is most like Whale's own--a respected genius in the public eye, but a person whose true self must remain invisible. Even if you don't buy that particular historical perspective, THE INVISIBLE MAN still works as an allegory of any societal pariah. We all have traits that we sometimes hide from others; we all have masks that we wear. And at the times when we dwell on the things we keep hidden behind those masks, we may feel just a little "invisible" to others. So in watching THE INVISIBLE MAN, Jack Griffin becomes a metaphor for our own private identities, and we care about what happens to him. As with many of Whale's films, this pathos for the protagonist becomes a skeleton on which hangs the overall plot.Compared to contemporary movies, the special effects in this film might seem a little dated. But the script is good, the directing is great, and the acting is superb. Anyone who enjoyes a well-crafted movie certainly won't be disappointed."
Seeing is believing
miller stevens | seattle | 06/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"James Whale's interpretation of the HG Wells book is abrilliant piece of cinema. The effects are, considering the time, anastonishing achievement that really help make this movie work. This is Claude Rains film debut and while we only see his face for a few minutes, he manages to create a powerful impression as the sympathetic mad scientist. Of the Universal horror collection, this can only be matched by Whales' "Bride of Frankenstein" in terms of acting, direction, plot, and using special effects effectively. While it should have been one of the first Universal horror DVDs, let's be thankful this gem is finally available. END"
miller stevens | 04/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Invisible Man is a great flim! It stars Claude Rains as thne invisible one, Griffin. And during the end of the middle his partner calls the police while his is staying in his house. Then Griffin promised to kill him the next day at 10:00p.m. And that is a PROMISE! I wont say anything more. People would say why would he go mad? He only turned invisible but during the movie it says in the chemicals he uses there is a drug and mixed with the other chemicals it abvously creates invisibility. But the drug can hurt people drive them a little mad. This happens to Griffin. This was found by anciet times when they used this drug and the other assitiant points out thats why they have not used it since. This movie has an ending that makes you say how was there two sequels to The Invisible Man unless the invisible man is not Griffin or there was a miricle but otherwise this movie is TERRIFIC. So I highly reccomend this movie to anyone who spots a good eye on it. So may I end this review in:
This Movie Was Terrific"
The Lost Meaning of Horror.
Sean Ares Hirsch | 11/18/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For those of you who have read my reviews, you may ask why a hard core English Major who sticks to Marlowe, Shakespeare, Milton, Hawthorne, and Dickens finds this old horror movie so important. I am glad to answer this. In this modern movie world of special effects and gore, I feel the true meaning of horror has been lost. This movie is an obvious example of the true meaning of horror. Rains' character was a good and decent man who could not stay behind the line of 'this far and no further.' (Resembles Marlowe's techniques.) He crossed the line and made himself invisible and was unable to reverse the formula. (This passes plausibility, but with all of this film's merits, it is easy to overlook.) For a while Rains actually has fun with his power, and the events are very comical. (Not unlike Marlowe's Dr. Faustus.) However, the invisibility is NOT what presents us with horror. What DOES fill us with horror is the degeneration of this good and decent man into a psychotic killer obsessed with power. His former friend Kemp turns into an enemy (and we can scarcely blame him). Even Rains' former employer (who wants to help him) is expressed by Rains as having 'the mind of a tapeworm.' Eventually, Rains' character goes on a mindless and random killing spree. So Rains has gone from being an intelligent decent man, to a prankster, to one who alienates his friends, to one who rebukes people who want to help him, to killing randomly and mindlessly. The effects are simple and do not overshadow the true horror of this. I tip my hat to Claude Rains for displaying one of the most frightening things so well. (The gradual degeneration of a human being.)"
For 66 years, an exciting SciFi movie classic.
miller stevens | 01/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Delightful special effects, a good story, and a remarkable INVISIBLE performance by Claude Raines make this picture a SciFi classic that excites my imagination as much today as it did 60 years ago when I first saw it. I'll never forget it!"