Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The Invisible Man (1933)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Invisible Man (1933)

In director James Whale's horror sci-fi classic about a scientific researcher whose experiments with a new drug led to invisibility - and insanity:

  • the scene of scientist Jack Griffin (Claude Rains) taunting the authorities and others who threatened to arrest him and lock him up, after they barged into his second story lab/apartment in the small English village of Iping in Sussex - he begged for them to leave him alone: ("All right, you fools. You've brought it on yourselves. Everything would have come right if you'd only left me alone. You've driven me near madness with your peering through the keyholes and gaping through the curtains")
  • in the miraculous scene, Jack challenged them to watch him strip off his bandaged-wrapped facial and body coverings: "And now you'll suffer for it! You're crazy to know who I am, aren't you? All right! I'll show you!"
  • as the scene continued, he gave away "souvenirs" of his disguise ("There's a souvenir for you. And one for you. I'll show you who I am and what I am") --- he removed his stage nose, dark glasses hiding his eyes, fake hair on his head, and gloves concealing his hands and his clothing (shirt, hat, underwear, shoes, and socks) to amaze everyone by revealing absolutely - nothing - thin air - emptiness
  • during his unwrapping, the sound of Jack's insane and hysterical laugh and the comments of a policeman: "Look, he's all eaten away" - Jack replied: "How do you like that, eh?" - the group fled down the stairs
  • in the local pub, Constable Jaffers (E.E. Clive) worried that if he was 'invisible' and naked, he would never be caught: "He's invisible, that's what's the matter. If he gets the rest of them clothes off, we'll never catch him in a thousand years"
  • and then later when the same authorities arrived to arrest him a second time before he could disappear forever, Griffin declared: ("They've asked for it, the country bumpkins. This'll give them a bit of a shock. Something to write home about. A nice bedtime story for the kids, too, if they want it"); when he danced in front of them wearing only his shirt, and ran around the room with them in pursuit, the constable was flabbergasted about where to place the handcuffs: ("How can I handcuff a bloomin' shirt?")
"This'll give them a bit of a shock!" - Running Around With Shirt Only
  • after stripping off his shirt, the completely invisible Griffin described his crazed plan for ultimate control of the world, before fleeing to the street: ("Are you satisfied now, you fools? It's easy, really, if you're clever. A few chemicals mixed together, that's all, and flesh and blood and bone just fade away. A little of this injected under the skin of the arm every day for a month. An invisible man can rule the world. Nobody will see him come, nobody will see him go. He can hear every secret. He can rob and rape and kill!")
  • the impressive technical and visual special effects, especially regarding invisibility, e.g., when Griffin stole a bicycle and rode it through the town, or when he retrieved his notebooks, or left his footprints in the snow
  • the hysterical almost insane joy described by Griffin to Dr. Arthur Kemp (William Harrigan) after his many experiments finally brought forth results: "I began five years ago in secret, working all night, every night, right into the dawn. A thousand experiments, a thousand failures, and then, at last the great, wonderful day...The last little mixture of drugs...Just a scientific experiment at first. That's all. To do something no other man in the world had done. But there's more to it than that, Kemp. I know now. It came to me suddenly. The drugs I took seemed to light up my brain. Suddenly I realized the power I held, the power to rule, to make the world grovel at my feet. (Chuckling) We'll soon put the world right now, Kemp. You and I"
  • to Kemp's shock and surprise, Griffin asked for him to be his "visible partner" in a devious plot to dominate the world - "I must have a partner, Kemp, a visible partner, to help me in the little things. You're my partner, Kemp. We'll begin with a reign of terror. A few murders here and there. Murders of great men, murders of little men, just to show we make no distinction. We might even wreck a train or two. Just these fingers round a signalman's throat, that's all"
  • the scene in the village, where Griffin had traveled (with Kemp) to retrieve his scientific notebooks; at the same time during a police inquiry, the skeptical police inspector was announcing that everything was a hoax ("I shall announce this evening that the whole thing's a hoax, and you'll be the laughing stock of the entire country"), but then he was squirted with pen-ink in his face - and the innkeeper's wife Jenny Hall (Una O'Connor) screamed out: "He's here! The invisible man!"; in the ensuing chaos, the police inspector was strangled to death
  • the sequence of Griffin's insane description to his fiancee Flora Cranley (Gloria Stuart) (he called her "my darling") of the meaning of his work: ("I wanted to do something tremendous, to achieve what men of science have dreamt of since the world began, to gain wealth and fame and honor, to write my name above the greatest scientists of all time. I was so pitifully poor. I had nothing to offer you, Flora. I was just a poor, struggling chemist. I shall come back to you, Flora, very soon now. The secret of invisibility lies there in my books. I shall work in Kemp's laboratory till I find the way back. There is a way back, Flora. And then I shall come to you. I shall offer my secret to the world, with all its terrible power! The nations of the world will bid for it - thousands, millions. The nation that wins my secret can sweep the world with invisible armies!" - Griffin didn't know that Kemp had set her up to try and persuade Griffin to give himself up and work with her father to find a cure, but the crazed scientist was single-mindedly obsessed with his terroristic goal: "Power to walk into the gold vaults of the nations, into the secrets of kings, into the holy of holies. Power to make multitudes run squealing in terror at the touch of my little invisible finger. Even the moon's frightened of me, frightened to death. The whole world's frightened to death"
  • Griffin's reign of terror - by strangling a volunteer searcher and tossing a few bodies off a cliff, derailing a train and causing hundreds of deaths, stealing an entire Lloyds Bank cash drawer and throwing the money and coins into the air out on the street
  • the scene of Griffin's 10 pm murder of the traitorous Kemp (who had been disguised as a uniformed police officer) - Griffin sent Kemp (tied up in the front seat of a car) to his death when he pushed the car down a steep hill and off a cliff - he described the killing just before its execution: ("Just sit where you are. I'll get out and take the handbrake off and give you a little shove to help you on. You'll run gently down and through the railings. Then you'll have a big thrill for 100 yards or so till you hit a boulder. Then you'll do a somersault and probably break your arms, then a grand finish-up with a broken neck. Well, goodbye, Kemp. I always said you were a dirty little coward. You're a dirty, sneaking little rat as well. Goodbye")
  • in the finale during a snowstorm, Griffin was located sleeping in a barn; the authorities set it on fire and as Griffin fled in the snow, his tracks became visible and he was shot and mortally wounded; on his hospital deathbed, Griffin made his final confession to Flora about his failed objectives: ("I failed. I meddled in things that man must leave alone"); as he died, his face was slowly revealed and visible in stages: ("His body will become visible as life goes") - first the skull, then flesh, and then his full face

To Authorities and Village-folk: "You're crazy to know who I am, aren't you?"

Stripping Away Everything To Reveal Nothingness

Escaping on a Bicycle

Griffin to Dr. Kemp - Requesting That He Become His "Visible Partner"

Skeptical Police Inspector - Squirted with Ink (Woman: "He's here!")

With Fiancee Flora
(Gloria Stuart)

Kemp Listening to Griffin's Mad Description of His Own Murder

Griffins' Tell-Tale Footprints in Snow

Griffin's Hospital Death Scene Revelation


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