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when he went under contract
to Twentieth Century Fox in 1935.
Arthur Edeson went way back as
a cinematographer, way back to 1914.
He shot some of Douglas Fairbanks
Senior's big productions in the 1920s,
including Robin Hood
and The Thief of Bagdad.
He did the first version
of The Lost World in 1925.
Edeson and director Lewis Milestone for
All Quiet on the Western Front, in 1930,
liberated the camera
from the cumbersome booths
that had been used to muffle noise when
sound was introduced in the late 1920s.
Believe it or not, there were motion
pictures dealing with invisibility
as far back as 1904.
A little number called The Invisible Siva,
a Georges Mlics French production.
Mlics was famous for doing trick films
with the magic executed in the camera.
Another French production,
The Invisible Thief, was done in 1905.
The Invisible Fluid in 1908
bestowed temporary invisibility
on men and inanimate objects.
Then came the British
Invisible Dog in 1910.
The Light Unseen in 1914
featured an invisible scientist.
A 1923 feature picture directed by
Roland West called The Unknown Purple
has an inventor,
played by Henry B Walthall,
discovering a purple light
that renders the user invisible.
He utilises the light to revenge himself
against those who framed him for theft.
And in 1933, the same year
The Invisible Man was made,
there was a German film called The
Invisible Man Goes Through the City.
Even animated cartoons
tried the invisible man theme.
One example is a 1939
Warner Brothers Looney Tunes
called Porky's Movie Mystery,
featuring Porky Pig as Mr Motto.
No, not Mr Moto. He's a detective
trying to track down the invisible man,
who is creating problems
at the film studio.
Finally, the character becomes visible,
and is revealed to be
the caricatured image
of Warner comedian of the time,
Hugh Herbert.
The above rundown of films
constitutes only some examples,
not a definitive and complete listing.
Before and after
the 1933 Invisible Man film,
there were various features,
serials, TV versions, even commercials.
Whale's biographer, James Curtis,
many years ago interviewed Ted Kent, the
film editor on nine of the director's films,
including The Invisible Man.
Recalling Whale's working methods,
Kent talked about
Whale wanting to maintain control
over all aspects of the productions.
In scripts, for example, he would point
out where close-ups were to be used.
Then at the back of his scripts
he would make suggested illustrations
for the art and costume departments.
Apparently, in creative areas,
it was difficult for Whale to delegate.
This is the first
of only two scenes in the entire film
between the invisible man
and his beloved Flora.
In part, it is a very poignant scene.
Griffin displays genuine tenderness
toward his inamorata.
You have the feeling that his love for Flora
has temporarily held in check
his maniacal behaviour
from the effects of the monocane drug.
Griffin's vocal delivery
reflects his momentary change
back to what was surely his personality
prior to the nefarious experiment.
After some devoted, touching
comments by Griffin, Flora asks:
- Why did you do this?
- For you, Flora.
- For me?
- Yes, for you, my darling.
I wanted to do something tremendous,
to achieve what men of science
have dreamt of since the world began,
to gain wealth and fame and honour,
to write my name above
the greatest scientists of all time.
I was so pitifully poor.
I had nothing to offer you, Flora.
I was just a poor, struggling chemist.
I shall come back to you,
Flora, very soon now.
The secret of invisibility
lies there in my books.
I shall work in Kemp's laboratory
till I find the way back.
There is a way back, Flora.
And then I shall come to you.
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- - 8
- 1980
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