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Yeats, lbsen, Shaw and Galsworthy.
In 1913, she made
her London debut at Court Theatre,
and she acted in various London plays.
In 1931,
there was that great success Cavalcade,
which featured Una
as the cockney charwoman.
When Fox planned
to film the Nol Coward play,
they sent for Una, and Merle Tottenham,
who had played the maid of Cavalcade,
and reprises that role in this film.
In 1933, James Whale, who had
known Una from the London stage,
invited her and Merle
to act in his Invisible Man.
For many years, she appeared in
many memorable Hollywood films,
including James Whale's
sequel to Frankenstein,
the 1935 Bride of Frankenstein.
Some of her other supporting roles
include The Barretts of Wimpole Street,
David Copperfield, The Informer,
The Adventures of Robin Hood,
The Sea Hawk, How Green Was
my Valley, Random Harvest,
The Bells of St Mary's,
and Adventures of Don Juan.
There are many British players
in this film,
most from theatre,
both in England and America,
and some who arrived in Hollywood
after the introduction of sound.
Whale had worked with or knew them,
and naturally felt comfortable when
he personally cast them in the film.
This gentleman is Forrester Harvey,
who was born in
County Cork, Ireland, in 1884.
He moved to London at a very young age,
and before coming to America in 1924
Harvey had been featured in
English film comedies for ten years.
He then appeared in New York plays.
Returning to London,
he accepted the role of Lieutenant Trotter
in the Whale-directed
hit play Journey's End,
and then again came to America,
this time to stay.
His film roles include
Tarzan the Ape Man, Red Dust,
Tarzan and his Mate, Captain Blood,
Rebecca, The Invisible Man Returns,
the 1941 Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde,
The Wolf Man, Mrs Miniver
and many others.
We now see that the stranger
is capable of a furious outburst,
and we'll see extreme violence,
a portent of his obviously
unstable and dangerous state.
Una O'Connor
is capable of bursting forth
with an incredible volley of
high-decibel cackles, screams, shrieks
that seem rather over the top,
to say the least.
There's another scene a little later where
she reprises her full complement of these.
Fair warning. Obviously, director
James Whale didn't think it was too rich.
In fact, two years later, he had her going
through her screech repertoire again
for Bride of Frankenstein.
But interestingly, you don't hear her
going anywhere near that level
in her many other fine characterisations
through the decades.
HG Wells's novel The Invisible Man
was first serialised in England
in Pearson's Weekly, in 1897,
and then published
in book form that same year.
Universal had a synopsis
in the late 1920s,
when Wells's agent
was offering motion picture rights.
MGM apparently turned it down in 1931
because of potential technical obstacles.
But Universal, by late 1931,
was seriously considering the title
as one of the follow-ups
to their Dracula and Frankenstein.
The studio executives
turned to John Fulton,
the head of what was then referred to
as the "trick department",
to see if it was possible to create and
execute acceptable effects for the subject.
Fulton said yes,
so Universal bought the story rights
on September 22nd 1931 for $10,000,
with author HG Wells granted
script approval as part of the deal.
The studio also bought,
about that same time,
a new 1931 novel by Philip Wylie
called The Murderer Invisible.
But more about that anon.
John Fulton, nicknamed "The Doctor"
around the lot,
knew that the travelling-matte technique
would be the way to approach
the most dazzling of the effects.
Before coming to work at Universal,
Fulton worked for the
Frank Williams Laboratory in Hollywood.
Where the travelling-matte
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