Wednesday, April 24, 2013

"The Invisible Man"

Claude Rains, "The Invisible Man," 1933.
I love this movie.  Claude Rains doesn't appear "in the flesh" until the last scene, when he's dying and the potion is draining away.  He spends the bulk of the film wrapped up in bandages to disguise his transparency, or as a disembodied voice, cackling as he causes mayhem.  He still gives a great, mischievous performance that starts out playful but quickly turns deadly.  Any scientist that tries out a potion on himself is mad, right?  This film starts with Rains already invisible, and already on the run, plotting how he will rule the world.  Because he's always running, fleeing, or attacking, it's one of the most action packed early horror films.  It's also one of the best examples of the "man as monster" genre, produced by the great Carl Laemmle Jr. for Universal pictures (which also produced "Frankenstein," "Dracula," "The Mummy," "The Black Cat") and directed by James Whale ( "Frankenstein" and "The Bride of Frankenstein"). 

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