The Invisible Man Returns
The plot engine brings about a marvel, almost a miracle in view of Whale’s absolute position.
Two brothers run the Radcliffe Collieries, one is killed and the other framed by Mr. Cobb, who takes over the mine and has an eye on the condemned man’s girl.
Dr. Griffin has a lab, a charity enterprise, at the mine, he is the brother of the late invisible man and a friend to Sir Geoffrey Radcliffe, hours away from hanging.
An injection of the formula (now, in honor of the sequel, said to contain an East Indian herb, “duocaine”, that drains color), Sir Geoffrey is free and fearful of going mad.
The night watchman is now superintendent and threatens the doctor his lab will be closed if he counsels the miners further against an unsafe shaft. The miracle is honestly come by with a magician’s prestidigitation of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People.
Sir Geoffrey overhears this threat, and the audience once again hears that laugh, the great gift of this series, the laugh you laugh yourself when you realize how invisible this film has been for half a century.
Lang’s Inspector Lohmann has his counterpart in Cecil Kellaway as Inspector Sampson, C.I.D., Scotland Yard.
Sir Geoffrey gets a confession out of the murderer at the point of death (tipped from a coal car by an interesting apparatus), wanders the countryside with an inoperable bullet wound (owing to his invisibility), borrows a scarecrow’s suit of clothes against the cold. Asked for volunteers, the miners at once step forward to give blood. Sir Geoffrey not only lives, he is visible once again and in his right mind (and in his lover’s arms again—Nan Grey).
The screenplay piles on the excellent jokes, such as among the staff in the opening scene, “They’re hexperts,” says one, and another, “You’re a good butler, but dead cert you ain’t no psychologist.”
Fellow-feeling is the key to understanding certain arcana, they are meant to be seen, Erasmus holds sway.
Sir Cedric Hardwicke is the supercilious and fearful Cobb. “You were promoted!”, says Vincent Price as Sir Geoffrey to the night watchman, Spears (Alan Napier).