Tuesday, February 17, 2015

He'll see you now.

Universal quickly looked for more classic horror ideas from the literature and in 1933 James Whale directed a fairly faithful adaptation of H.G.Wells' The Invisible Man

Claude Rains does a fantastic job of portraying the character by his voice alone, his face only appears as Griffin lies dying in a hospital bed at the end of the movie. And of course there is some marvellous special effects magic from John Fulton and his team, particularly in the sequences where Griffin reveals his true self to the terrified villagers. H.G.Wells himself was said to be impressed although he had some reservations about the depiction of his title character as a hysterical madman prone to lots of maniacal giggling as he torments his pursuers. And it is true that Whales and Rains do play up some of the comedy elements of the story and much fun is had at the expense of the British police force who come across as an international branch of the Keystones Kops,

It cracks along with the story in a compact 71 minutes and established Rains as a star as well as confirming James Whale as the safest pair of hands for directing these Universal classics. Nice to see Henry Travers who is best remembered as Clarence from It's a Wonderful Life turning up in a straight role as Griffin's former boss Dr Cranley. It's a good solid interpretation of Wells' story and I enjoyed it quite a bit. A solid but invisible 3 stars. If you want to hear what we made of the BBC remake from the 1980s on British Invaders then check it out here. Next up may be the pick of this 8 disc set, it's time for the Bride of Frankenstein.

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