Movie Review: The Invisible Man Returns (1940)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the black-and-white Invisible Man sequel starring Vincent Price.

Synopsis: Geoffrey Radcliffe, the owner of a successful coal mining operation is wrongfully convicted of murdering his brother and sentenced to death. Unable to get him pardoned, his friend Dr. Frank Griffin, helps him to escape prison by giving him the invisibility potion Griffin’s brother invented. The plan works. However, Griffin must discover an antidote for the potion before Radcliffe goes insane.

Who's in It?


When my oldest daughter and I started watching this movie Sunday afternoon, I realized I couldn’t remember much about the original film and, because of that, wasn’t really sure what to expect. However, after watching this movie with her, I had to admit it was much better than I thought it was going to be.

One thing, in particular, I liked about this movie was the surprising amount of action and suspense in it, brought on by the fact there was a lot going on at once. Griffin (Sutton) isn’t able to find a cure and, because of that, Radcliffe (Price) starts going insane quickly. On top of it, the police (after figuring out who Griffin is related to) know Radcliffe’s secret and are actively pursuing him with smoke devices designed to make him visible.

And, of course, adding to the difficulty is the fact Radcliffe isn’t content staying hidden. In addition to visiting his fiancée (Grey), he is determined to track down his brother’s real killer and clear his name. This part puts him in even more danger when he learns who the killer is and, once again, has to get through a group of police officers in order to get his revenge.

Probably the only thing I didn’t like about this movie was the ending. I thought it seemed to be a bit rushed, especially after Radcliffe gets shot and Griffin, unable to see him, can’t perform surgery. This was a situation that could have created additional suspense and drama but was resolved a little too easily and quickly for my taste. In fact, the only reason I didn’t feel the ending ruined the entire movie was the rest of the film was so entertaining.

The Invisible Man Returns

Australia released, NTSC/Region 0 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), English ( Mono ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Black & White, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Geo...

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Final Opinion

As I said, the ending could have used a little more suspense. But, overall, I thought this was an entertaining movie that was considerably better than I was expecting when we first started watching it. I wouldn’t recommend it if you haven’t seen the original yet. However, if you have seen the first film, then this is a movie you should watch too.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 05/23/2019, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 03/10/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for practical information, pretty pictures and product lines.
The library system here catalogues, in its Blu-ray and DVD collections, The Invisible Man, as the 1940 original and what may be a 2020 remake. It does not list The Invisible Man Returns. So I expect to see the original, but not, unfortunately, back-to-back with the sequel.

How would the sequel fare as a colorized remake?

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