The Invisible Man Returns (1940)


The movie The Invisible Man Returns (1940) is an American horror science fiction film directed by Joe May¹. The film stars Cedric Hardwicke, Vincent Price, Nan Grey, and John Sutton. The film is a sequel to the 1933 film The Invisible Man, and the second film in the Invisible Man film series¹.

The movie The Invisible Man Returns (1940) begins with Sir Geoffrey Radcliffe (Vincent Price) being sentenced to death for the murder of his brother Michael, a crime he did not commit.

In a desperate bid to prove his innocence, Dr. Frank Griffin, the sibling of the original invisible man, administers an invisibility drug to Radcliffe. As the hour of Radcliffe’s execution approaches, he mysteriously disappears from his cell. Detective Sampson, from Scotland Yard, suspects the truth as Radcliffe embarks on a quest to find the real culprit before the drug drives him to madness.

The Radcliffe family is the proprietor of a mining operation. Willie Spears, a newly hired employee, is unexpectedly promoted within the company, arousing Radcliffe’s suspicions. Radcliffe confronts Spears, forcing his car off the road, which terrifies Spears into confessing that the actual murderer is Richard Cobb, Radcliffe’s cousin. A chase ensues after the confrontation, during which Radcliffe is hit by a bullet from Sampson. Cobb, fatally injured from a fall from a coal wagon, admits to the murder before succumbing to his injuries.

Now exonerated from all charges, Radcliffe, on the brink of death due to blood loss and exposure, manages to reach Dr. Griffin. Several of Radcliffe’s employees step forward to donate blood to Radcliffe. The blood transfusion is successful, rendering Radcliffe visible again and enabling the doctor to perform a life-saving operation.


  • Cedric Hardwicke as Richard Cobb
  • Vincent Price as Geoffrey Radcliffe
  • Nan Grey as Helen Manson
  • John Sutton as Doctor Frank Griffin
  • Cecil Kellaway as Inspector Sampson
  • Alan Napier as Willie Spears
  • Forrester Harvey as Ben Jenkins


There were communication problems during the shooting of the film. The German director spoke no English, so Vincent Price – being fluent in German – had to translate all the instructions to the other cast members⁷.

This film’s impressive visual effects, specifically those scenes where Vincent Price transitions from invisible to visible (and vice-versa) earned it an Academy Award nomination⁷.

Despite going over budget, this was one of the more profitable of Universal Horror films⁷.


One review from states: “He does do a good job with The Invisible Man Returns, though, although it is hard to tell how much of it is thanks to him and how much is thanks to the seasoned team at Universal, who had by now been cranking out horror sci-fi films for ten years. But the direction is fluid and inventive, with a mobile camera and some nice, atmospheric filming.” [12]

Another review from states”the movie did drag on a bit, especially in the middle, and it didn’t have the same bite as the original”. [13]


[1] Wikipedia
[2] IMDb
[9] The Sound of Vincent Price
[10] Smithsonian Magazine
[14] Den of Geek


Last updated byCody Meirick on November 29, 2023