Robert Griffin is rendered invisible by a mad
scientist, aiding him in his quest for revenge on former
business partners who had left him for dead in the jungles
of Africa. But too much of anything--even invisibility--can
be a bad thing.
The mystery and excitement generated by H.G. Wells's
classic novel and the original 1933 film continue in
this sci-fi sequel about one man's need to disappear.
Jon Hall plays Robert Griffin, an amnesiac who meets
up with the mad Dr. Drury (John Carradine), a scientist
who can help Griffin gain revenge on a couple from his
past by orchestrating an experiment to render him invisible.
This was Universal's fifth and final entry in the Invisible
Man series and is notable for John P. Fulton's special
effects, considered quite advanced for 1944 and impressive
Robert Griffin turns up at the estate of Sir Jasper
Herrick, having been missing for five years and presumed
dead, but in fact having been suffering from amnesia.
Griffin led an expedition that uncovered a source of
diamonds in Tanganyika but was abandoned there by Sir
Jasper. He now demands his share of the proceeds from
the expedition but Sir Jasper has misappropriated it
all and has Griffin thrown off the grounds. Wandering,
Griffin comes to the house of the eccentric Dr Drury
who persuades Griffin to become his first human test
subject in an invisibility experiment. Invisible, Griffin
then proceeds to terrorize Sir Jasper, demanding not
only what is rightfully his but also Sir Jaspers
house and daughter in marriage.
This was the fourth and last of Universals Invisible
Man sequels, excepting their Abbott and Costello teamup.
(See below for other titles). Of all of Universals
Famous Monsters sequels - the Frankenstein, Dracula
and Mummy films - the Invisible Man series was actually
one that sustained itself quite inventively. All the
other monster series exhausted themselves in tired formulaic
repetition by the fourth entry or even sooner. This
however still remains a likably good film, which is
something that one has to stretch to be able to think
of saying under the most optimistic conditions about
any other Universal monster sequel from the 1940s.
Revenge has little connection to the preceding films.
It does star Jon Hall as the invisible man, a role Hall
also played in The Invisible Agent (1942). And the invisible
man is named Griffin, although is not related to the
invisible man Griffin from either of the first two films.
It is really an original story of its own. This one
takes awhile to get going - in a film just only 78 minutes
long it is fully 20 minutes before we have an invisible
man and then it has to swing a contrived plot device
about he seeking shelter at the house of a scientist
conducting invisibility research and agreeing to become
a test subject.
But it is well directed by former serial director Ford
Beebe. There are some good invisibility effects with
the invisible man splashing the likes of water and flour
on his face at various points. As with The Invisible
Man (1933) and with The Invisible Man Returns (1940),
there is a great deal of humour made out of English
provincials. Leon Errol as the invisible mans
visible assistant gives a really funny performance -
the invisibly assisted darts game in the pub is a comedic
gem. John Carradine is also rather funny as the mad
scientist of the piece with a lab full of invisible
parrots and dogs which he nonchalantly treats like his