Rounding out the quartet of Universal’s Invisible Man movies throughout the 1940s, The Invisible Man’s Revenge was a return to ‘form’-ula…in a good way.
Also returning to the series was Jon Hall, but he would not be reprising the role of Frank Griffin Jr.
Instead he would be playing Frank’s twin brother Robert Griffin, a man who escapes from a mental institution that he was incarcerated in after killing two orderlies.
Talk about polar opposites and proof of the flexibility to Hall’s work as an actor, although oddly Robert has no knowledge of the invisibility formula of his brother or grandfather for that matter.
Once he is free, Robert seeks vengeance on the Herrick family who found their fortune from diamond fields that he helped to discover.
The Herrick family propose a share in the estate as a means to appease Robert, but he pushes things further, demanding to marry their daughter, Julie.
Their response? Drug him and get him out of their way.
This only angers Robert further and he plots his revenge.
In steps Dr. Peter Drury (John Carradine) who happens to be working on the formula for invisibility and with it, Robert’s key to claiming what he believes is owed to him.
The plotline is a little more convoluted than previous instalments and while it does some time before the cloak and dagger of invisibility lays the scene, the direction and delivery are more impactful due to the care and dedication devoted to character development.
Robert Griffin’s descent into madness and retribution is amplified by the back story delivered and Jon Hall’s depiction.
Likewise the supporting cast are on point, notably from Carradine and Gale Sondergaard as a cold-hearted Lady Irene Herrick.
Furthermore, the despair of Griffin’s fear of Brutus the dog, places a nice conclusion to the tale.
We are what we fear and if we place emphasis on those fears it will ultimately be our ruin.
The Invisible Man’s Revenge would mark the final time that the tale would be told with a dark edge with the next appearance coming in the Abbott and Costello movies.
It would be nearly 75 years before Universal would look into the black heart of the Griffin family with The Invisible Man starring Elizabeth Moss.
- Saul Muerte