The Invisible Man (1933)
Critic Consensus: James Whale's classic The Invisible Man features still-sharp special effects, loads of tension, a goofy sense of humor, and a memorable debut from Claude Rains.
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Critic Reviews for The Invisible Man
In his first cinema role, which must have been easy for him to play since it amounts to very little more than an offstage noise, Claude Rains gives an alarming performance, almost as frightening when he is present as when he is not.
The strangest character yet created by the screen [from the novel by H.G. Wells] roams through The Invisible Man.
James Whale's 1933 film plays more like a British folk comedy than a horror movie; it's full of the same deft character twists that made his Bride of Frankenstein a classic.
Rains, with his clear, sensitively inflected voice, was lucky: it made him a star.
It is hardly necessary to dwell upon the performances of the cast beyond saying that they all rise to the demands of their parts. As for the settings, they seem very real, and the direction and acting of the uniformed police force are unusually good.
Audience Reviews for The Invisible Man
Jack Griffin/The Invisible One: An invisible man can rule the world. Nobody will see him come, nobody will see him go. He can hear every secret. He can rob, and rape, and kill! "H.G. Well's Fantastic Sensation" The Invisible Man may be my favorite of the old, old school Universal horror/monster films. James Whale(Frankenstein) and Claude Rains make for an impressive director, actor combination and the result is maybe one of the first truly amazing horror films. Watching this 80 years after its release, we have to take the acting(especially dramatic) moments with a grain of salt. While the acting is ridiculous and laughable at times, the story, direction, and lead are all very impressive and is what makes this movie the timeless classic it remains. A lone stranger walks into a tavern late at night during a snowstorm. He requests a place to stay and a fire, but also to be left undisturbed. The man is a scientist and he recently figured out a way to turn himself invisible. The only trouble is he doesn't know how to reverse it. When the people at the tavern threaten to throw him out, his madness at the hands of the drug he used to turn himself invisible, takes over and he becomes a homicidal maniac. And the only things worse than a homicidal maniac, is an invisible homicidal maniac. As a lover of every type of horror genre and time, from old to new, from science fiction to slash trash; it's always a great experience to finally watch a movie that is so important and great a film as The Invisible Man. Today, it doesn't seem like much of a horror film, with the scares being mild when seen by today's audience. Really though this has such great usage of special effects, for the time, and I'm sure upon release it did creep out the 1933 audience. I can't recommend The Invisible Man enough. It's a nearly perfect movie today and had I seen it when it was first released back in the 30's, I probably would have thought it was perfect. This is a new favorite of mine when it comes to the science fiction horror sub genre and is one that needs to be seen by all film/horror buffs.
MGM and Universal monster movies were undoubtedly popular in the fifteen years or so they were heavily produced and marketed to the public. Some of the greatest horror films and classic films have come from these films and the way they were shown to audiences, including Frankenstein's monster, Dracula, and The Wolf-Man. A film that didn't rely so heavily on horror and more on the horror of science fiction gone wrong, "The Invisible Man" is the first in a long line of films to feature an invisible protagonist in the lead role. Instead of someone getting into hijinks and ending up invisible, thus ensuing into further shenanigans, the original and seminal Invisible Man is a story of pain and hell-bent rage. Claude Rains found the role of the afflicted Jack Griffin to be a stepping stone to bigger and better things, and though he was not clearly visible until the last few seconds of the film it turned him into a star.( He later became immortalized in The Rocky Horror Show's opening song). Here he embraces the deficits of his acting abilities by using broad arm gestures and cocky language to bring his character some clarity to the audience. The premise of the film is to show Rains as a demented scientist, given the power of invisibility in order to escape the clutches of the mobbing public and kill those who would stop him. His exploits aren't very horrific, except when he tries to blackmail a former colleague into killing with him, but he isn't all too persuasive. Intercut are scenes of Jack's lover, played by Gloria Stuart, which only serve to fill time until they catch him. A truly iconic and historically significant film in the context of its still stellar effects, "The Invisible Man" is yet another classic monster you love to hate, and love to love.
The Invisible Man based on the novel by H.G Wells is a stunning horror classic that is a benchmark in cinema. A brilliant film that has stunning special effects, considering that this was made in 1933. This is a brilliantly directed film. The cast here is terrific and they all deliver great performances. I especially thought that Charles Rains performance as Jack Griffin / The Invisible Man was one of a kind. His performance as the title character is one of the best performances in the early years of horror. Along with other horror classics such as Dracula and The Mummy, The Invisible Man is a definite classic and the story and special effects are astounding. Though the film is quite short, the film does move along at a steady pace, and director James Whale effectively builds the tension on-screen as we see The Invisible Man go from scientist to psychopath. The film is phenomenal and is a definite must see for horror fans seeking to broaden their knowledge of horror films. The Invisible Man is a solid piece of horror history and remains a favorite of the genre. If you want a solid horror classic, then give this one a shot. This film has superb acting and directing. The special effects are astounding and will leave you in awe. This is by far the best in the series, as the sequels always fail to capture the magic of the first. The Invisible Man is not only a classic of horror, but is a classic of cinema as well. A superbly well acted film that every serious film buff should see.
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