The 30's

The Invisible Man [1933]

One of the best movies of its genre, telling the story of a scientist (Claude Rains in an unforgettable role) who finds a way to make himself invisible, becoming mentally unstable as a result. It seems that one of the drugs he used has properties that can turn a man insane. Believing he can take over the world, our man recruits a fellow scientist and decides to install a reign of invisble terror. You might think that with today’s technology, the 1933 version would look ridiculous. Think again. In fact, I’ve never seen anything quite like it before: Claude Rains doesn’t spend much time on physical acting, but this is made up for with a dazzling array of special effects (considering this was made 77 years ago). His voice does all the work, and I don’t think there will ever be a better man for this role. We get to see his shirt dancing, things flying around the room, and a bicyle riding on its own! There’s some real movie magic at work here, and you don’t need today’s technology to admire such a wonderful and visually stunning film.

Fun fact: In order to achieve the effect that Claude Rains wasn’t there when his character took off the bandages, the director had Rains dressed completely in black velvet and filmed him in front of a black velvet background.

Rating: 3/4

Categories: The 30's

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