Who’s in this?
Vincent Price as Geoffrey Radcliffe a man accused of killing his brother, but soon he’ll become invisible. You know Price as a horror movie legend, but in 1940 he was a little known young actor and he was still well over a decade away from the House of wax which would really launch him towards being a star of many horror films.
Cedrick Hardwicke as Richard Cobb who pretends to be a friend of Geoffrey and Helens but really he’s a skunk. Hardwicke was a distinguished actor who worked quite a bit on both stage and screen. He had over 100 credits including Rope and The Ten Commandmants. Other genre appearances include The Ghost of Frankenstein and the Invisible Agent.
Nan Grey as Helen Manson girlfriend of Geoffrey. She had over 30 credits between the mid-30’s and the early 40’s. She is perhaps most known to horror fans for her role in this film and as Lili a victim of and in Dracula’s Daughter.
John Sutton as Doctor Frank Griffin. Brother of the original Invisible Man he makes an invisibility potion for Geoffrey believing he innoncent and that turning him invisible will give them time to clear his name. Sutton worked regularly as a supporting player in films from the 30’s through to the 50’s and then got in tv for a while.
Cecil Kellaway as Inspector Sampson of Scotland Yard who assigned to catching Geoffrey when he turns all not threre. Kellaway had a film career that spanned over four decades and was nominated for an Oscar twice. Fans of Universal horror films will recognise him as the Great Solvani from the Mummy’s Hand.
Alan Napier as Willie Spears a cowardly skunk. Napier was early in his acting career at this point, but he would go on to have a very active career. You will know him best as Alfred, Bruce Wayne’s butler from the 1960’s Batman show.
What’s this about? So Geoffrey Radcliffe is set to hang for the murder of his brother. While in his cell he vanishes leaving a pile of clothes and a couple of stupid and confused guards. Inspector Sampson shows up and unlike a lot of policeman in these older films he’s pretty sharp. He knows of the original Invisble Man and knows his brother knew Geoffrey. He puts two and two together and suspects Doctor Griffin supplied Geoffrey with an invisibility formula. However Griffin won’t admit to that and Geoffrey is on the run going about all invisible while trying to find out who framed him. Good thing those invisibility syrums don’t cause nasty side effects like insanity, oh wait that may be coming. Pretty soon Geoffrey starts to find out what’s on and after sacring the shit out of and beating the snot out of Willie Spears he learns that Richard Cobb killed his brother and framed him for it. However Inspector Sampson is hot on the trail of Geoffrey with ice water in his veins and a big old stogie. Yeah, i know ew a stinky cigar. However the Inspector knows the smoke will reveal an invisible man. He finds out that Radcliffe is going after Cobb so he takes a force over there to protect Sampson and try to grab Radcliffe with his men using smoke. It doesn’t work, but a nice try and it makes for some of the best visuals of the film. Invisibility isn’t all fun and games though as it’s bound to have a downside and that happens when Geoffreay goes all nutty just like the first invisible dude. The power goes to his head I think although I can’t see his head because he’s you know invisible and all. Doctor Griffin tries to stop but can’t so Geoffrey goes after Cobb again. The old skunk eventually confesses to the murder before dying. Geoffrey is hurt badly, but Griffin saves him and he becomes visible once more so we finally see a young Vincent Price just for a minute. Roll the credits.
The negatives-The film was made seven years after the original and it doesn’t do a whole lot to advance the invisibility concept. It’s just the same ideas, similar results only with a thin murder plot tossed in.
The positives-A solid cast all the way around helps transform an okay script into a decent movie. The effects are very good for the time and even a step up from the orignal.