What a start to  Claude Rains’ Hollywood career. Playing the title role in H.G.Wells’ THE INVISIBLE MAN (1933), Rains is literally invisible until the final scene.

He’s covered in bandages and wears dark goggles, but  that beautiful speaking voice and the way he carries himself when walking made it unmistakably Rains.

Claude Rains plays the obsessed chemist,Dr. Griffin who thinks he can help humanity but instead, is driven to madness by the drug he takes which causes invisibility.

Dr. Griffin: “An invisible man can rule the world….he can rob,wreck and kill…..even the moon’s afraid of me!”


Director James Whale, on left , on the set with Claude Rains.

There are some great special effects – in one scene there is a headless and footless pair of pyjamas!


Not  much of a role for the lovely Gloria Stuart. She plays Flora,  girlfriend of Dr.Griffin. Her father ,Dr. Cranley (Henry Travers) whom Griffin worked for, tries to help Griffin.


Una O’Connor, as the wife of the innkeeper , spends a fair bit of her screen time screaming! (I kept having to turn the volume down!) She is always so believable in all her roles.


Gloria Stuart, Henry Travers.


Best line in the film comes from the farmer who says, “Excuse me sir, there’s breathing in my barn.”  (Griffin is hiding there.)


Impressive  ending when Griffin is surrounded by the police who set fire to the barn where he is sheltering.  When he runs out of the burning barn, although invisible, his footprints can be seen in the snow and he is shot.



John Carradine.

I did  recognise John Carradine in his brief, uncredited scene as one of the villagers who  calls the police with his idea for catching the Invisible Man. (The police have offered  a reward.)

Also in small roles, Mary Gordon and Walter Brennan.


And finally we get to see  Claude Rains in the film’s last scene when Dr. Griffin is dying and he gradually becomes visible.

Rains’ s second film, CRIME WITHOUT PASSION (1934) is on You Tube. Disappointing.


Always liked this early Universal  logo, with the plane flying round the world.


The Invisible Man spawned a lot of sequels and TV shows.I’d  like to see the three films from 1940 and 1944.


Played for laughs.



A British TV series , 1958-60, starring Tim Turner.


David McCallum starred  in 1975/76.

In both television versions, the invisible man is a force for good.

There is talk of a new film version this year.


4 responses »

  1. I just watched Claude Rains in 1952’s “The Man Who Watched Trains Go By” — released in the U.S. as “The Paris Express”.

    IMDB describes it as a “strange blend of French série noire and English Brit noir.”

    It’s odd to see him in any film without thinking of The Invisible Man or Casablanca.

      • Today, I watched Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) starring Rains, Robert Montgomery and Evelyn Keyes.

        I knew of the movie but had never seen it.

        Columbia had intended to cast Cary Grant in the role that was played by Montgomery.

        The picture won Oscars for Best Story and Best Screenplay.

        The movie was well-received by critics and often imitated by later classics such as It’s a Wonderful Life.

        In a 1942 episode of Lux Radio Theatre, Rains and Keyes reprised their roles with Cary Grant co-starring.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Gravatar Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s