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system
had evolved.
Fulton wrote an article on
The Invisible Man for the June 1934 issue
of American Cinematographer,
and I quote:
"Pulling off a nose.
This scene was made by using a dummy,
an exact replica of the player's make-up."
"And then the unwrapping action
was handled in the same fashion
as the other half-clad scenes,
that is, by multiple printing
with travelling mattes."
"We had considerable trouble in getting
the actor to move naturally,
yet without ever passing
his hands in front of himself."
This is only a warm-up, of course,
for the multiplicity of effects that follow.
We are now about
17 minutes into the film,
and the build-up
to this moment has been just right.
We were allowed one brief profile shot
of an invisible mouth, chin and jaw
several minutes ago,
and now with the unwrapping shots
we wait with fascinating anticipation
to see what lengths the invisibility
presentation will take us next.
For the undressing scenes, RC Sherriff
wrote a note in his screenplay...
Wait a minute. I guess the invisible man
doesn't wear underwear.
Anyway, his note says:
"I suggest that trick photography
be employed here, as far as possible,
with the aid of invisible wire frames
manipulated by the marionette method."
But, as Fulton explained,
"the wire technique could not be used,
for the clothes would look empty
and would hardly move naturally".
"So we had recourse
to multiple printing with variations."
"Most of these scenes involve
other, normal characters,
so we shot these scenes
in the normal manner
but without any trace
of the invisible man."
"All of the action, of course,
had to be carefully timed,
as in any sort of double-exposure work."
"The negative was then developed
in the normal manner."
"The scenes in which he is totally
invisible are, of course, very simple."
"Anything he may move about, such
as furniture, books, a bicycle and so on,
could be moved by fine wires
invisible to the camera,
and thereby give exactly the right effect."
Actor EE Clive,
playing the police constable,
made his film debut in The Invisible Man.
Incidentally, his first name was Edward.
Born in Wales, Clive was a master of
the various dialects of the British Isles,
and toured extensively in the provinces
after taking up a stage career
at the age of 22.
He moved to the United States in 1912.
He only spent seven years in Hollywood
films before dying from a heart attack,
but in that short span,
racked up over 80 movies.
We've now moved from melodrama
into knockabout comedy,
with the invisible man
leading us through a parade
of Whale's expertly
choreographed physical wire effects,
all carefully rigged and executed
by Al Johnson and Bob Laslow.
Of course, the actors had
to move and react convincingly
to make these quick cuts work.
A bicycle riding away by itself
is on a concealed track,
and wires above kept the bike upright.
The invisible man's patter during
this collage was not in the script,
but was probably post-recorded by Rains.
Much of Rains' dialogue throughout
the film was either pre- or post-recorded.
Most of the exteriors made
were shot on the back lot at Universal.
EE Clive worked for director James Whale
in five additional films.
One More River, Bride of Frankenstein,
Remember Last Night?
Show Boat, and The Great Garrick.
Some of his other credits include
A Tale of Two Cities, Captain Blood,
Libeled Lady, Camille,
The Charge of the Light Brigade,
The Hound of the Baskervilles,
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,
and his last film, Hitchcock's
Foreign Correspondent in 1940.
Not only a change of scene,
but a total change in mood.
More developments regarding
Jack Griffin's experiments,
and one major discovery coming up,
regarding a dangerous drug.
We are so accustomed to the wonderful
character actor Henry Travers
being cast as a
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