The Invisible Woman (1940) is a English movie. A. Edward Sutherland has directed this movie. Virginia Bruce,John Barrymore,John Howard,Charles Ruggles are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1940. The Invisible Woman (1940) is considered one of the best Comedy,Romance,Sci-Fi movie in India and around the world.
Eccentric Professor Gibbs, brilliant but impractical, invents an invisibility machine and advertises for a guinea pig. What he gets is Kitty Carroll, an attractive, adventurous model, who thinks being invisible would help her settle a few scores. Complications arise when three comic gangsters steal the machine to use on their boss. But they fail to reckon with the Revenge of the Invisible Woman!
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The Invisible Woman (1940) Reviews
Wonderful comedy with an excellent cast.
This movie is a winner all the way. Mad Scientist Barrymore with Margaret Hamilton as his housekeeper invents an invisibility formula for his patron. When a model, Virginia Bruce, gets a hold of it, all havoc breaks loose, from revenge on her tyrannical boss, Charles Lane, to Oskar Homolka and Shemp Howard, two villains trying to steal the formula for themselves. Charles Ruggles also provides hilarity as the butler/chauffer.
Barrymore meets Bruce
Agreeably played for low farce by a most accomplished cast led by those supreme farceurs Charlie Ruggles (who has all the best lines) and John Barrymore (who just manages to snare all the best "business" from Ruggleswho gives him a great run for his money), The Invisible Woman is smoothly directed with lots of great visual effects for those who dote on this sort of thing. Adding to the fun, Charles Lane has a colorful role which he makes the most of, but Maria Montez is along purely for decorative value as part of an eye-appealingly feminine crowd and doesn't have a single line, alas. Not one! It's the lovely Virginia Bruce who makes all the running, while John Howard stands on the sidelines, looking nice and stylish as the straight man. Comic gangster Oscar Homolka and other players do a few turns with three stooges (Shemp Howard, Ed Brophy and Donald MacBride), but the film's funniest scenes occur in the middle section of the movie when the invisible Virgina tangles with the irascible Lane.
An Opportunity To Become Invisible
Watching this film, the minute I saw the opening credits and saw who was in the cast, I knew I would enjoy this and I was not disappointed. Bela Lugosi was quoted as saying that when Abbott&Costello met Frankenstein some years later, it killed the classic horror genre that Universal was known for. If that was the case, I'm not sure how the genre escaped the executioner here. The original film of The Invisible Man saw Claude Rains give one of his great performances as the scientist who becomes invisible, but with the terrible side effect of losing his mind. It's classic acting at its best. In The Invisible Woman John Barrymore is the scientist who plays it like a cross between his own Oscar Jaffe in Twentieth Century and Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein. Barrymore really looks like he's having all kinds of fun with the part. But he's smart enough not to experiment on himself. Barrymore is a pet project of playboy John Howard who spends as much money on him as he does settling with women with whom he's had various amours, much to the distraction of Thurston Hall his family attorney. Hall breaks the news to Howard just as Barrymore seems on the verge of a breakthrough. All this is making butler Charlie Ruggles start looking for other employment. That and what follows. So much so he's advertised for a human subject in an oblique newspaper ad. Two parties respond to the ad, the first is Virginia Bruce who likes the idea of invisibility. She wants to use it to even some accounts with her boss Charles Lane. Lane runs a department store and Bruce is one of several models he abuses with petty tyranny. Her scenes where she does even accounts are some of the funniest. But a second party is also interested, but he doesn't just want to become invisible. Oscar Homolka wants to steal the secret and return to this country from Mexico where he's been living as a fugitive. So he sends henchmen, Edward Brophy, Donald MacBride, and Shemp Howard to steal Barrymore's machine. I should point out that unlike Rains's film and other invisible man pictures, Barrymore invents some Young Frankenstein like contraption which you go into and are bombarded with rays to become invisible. In the hands of amateurs the machine does have some interesting side effects and not the ones Claude Rains suffered. The Invisible Woman is used as an example of how low Barrymore's career had sunk. Yet even when Barrymore is slowly destroying himself with substance abuse in real life, the man's comic genius is apparent even in a film like this. In fact he led the entire cast in one big orgy of overacting where all these colorful people try to top themselves in scenery chewing. The Invisible Woman did get an Academy Award nomination for Special Effects, but lost to Paramount's I Wanted Wings. Note in the cast Maria Montez as one of Virginia Bruce's fellow models who shortly would be obtaining short lived stardom in her own genre for Universal Pictures. The Invisible Woman is a very funny picture, a really good satire on the horror film genre. Made on a dime so to speak, don't miss it if it's ever broadcast.
Cooky Sci-Fi Romp which anticipates later B-Movie Genre
This is the Great Profile's(John Barrymore's) next to penultimate film. It's an enjoyable romp through some sci-fi shenanigans. A wonderful cast co-stars & supports ie: Carol Bruce, Charlie Ruggles, Margaret Hamilton, Charles Lane, Oscar Homolka, Shemp Howard...S-H-E-M-P H-O-W-A-R-D! and even a young unknown Maria Montez before all of the 'Ali Baba' type technicolor spectaculars. You really have to look at the row of models at Carol's job to spot Maria. I really enjoyed this film. It's like the serious original with Claude Rains but albeit with comic twists thrown in. The whole family can go to the theater and have some laughs. The techniques for making Carol Bruce invisible are really well done here but it should have been expected as Universal made the classic original in 1933. Someone mentioned that this could be remade with Charlize Theron. I agree. And it could also be remade with Barrymore's own granddaughter Drew. This movie has a pretty good A list cast. Barrymore was still a name to reckon with. The flick IMHO sort of anticipates the B-movie cheese factor sci fi movies soon to come in the 50s & 60s and even kiddie Saturday morning 70s fair like the Sid & Marty Krofft's 'Dr Shrinker'.
The Horror in This One Is........Invisible
Universal film billed as a part of its Invisible Man series has little except the title to do with that film and The Invisible Man Returns. This film is a comedy all the way with Virginia Bruce playing a woman who volunteers to be invisible for scientist John Barrymore so he can let his money man John Howard patent the product and become wealthy again after years of womanizing and eventual bankruptcy. Very light fare here, but in the typical Universal way very entertaining. John Barrymore gives a good performance as a very thick slice of ham. At one point, he is talking to a mouse like an overbearing Shakespearean stage trouper. Barrymore also has some wonderful verbal assaults with his house maid, played by Margaret Hamilton from The Wizard of Oz fame, and Charlie Ruggles, who does an outstanding job as a butler lacking courage. Much of the film is silly patter with Bruce exacting revenge on her mean boss played with the usual flair that only Charles Lane can create. Decidedly a notch below the first two installments of The Invisible Man series and The Invisible Agent, but the film was fun nonetheless. Where else can you see such a great cast with Barrymore, Lane, Ruggles, Hamilton, Bruce, and even Oskar Homolka(very interesting seeing him young!) and even Shemp Howard! The best part for me was watching Barrymore try to convince Bruce about the negative effects of drinking, even at one point saying, "dissipate and disappear!" What an actor!