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and John Weld, we are told,
wrote a treatment and screenplay that
were actually based on HG Wells' novel.
He was replaced by
British playwright RC Sherriff,
whose very successful
play Journey's End
had been directed by James Whale
on the stage and screen.
The actor playing
the chief of detectives is Dudley Digges,
another Irish-born actor
who made his stage debut
with the Abbey Theatre Players in Dublin,
and first performed
in the US in New York in 1904.
In 1911, he became stage manager
for the distinguished actor
George Arliss, for seven years.
And from 1919 to 1930, Digges appeared
in many Theatre Guild productions,
and staged or produced several plays.
In 1923 he produced George Bernard
Shaw's The Doctor's Dilemma,
which featured Claude Rains.
Later, Rains relieved Digges the actor in
two plays with extended runs and tours.
Digges, starting in 1929,
appeared in many films,
including the first version
of The Maltese Falcon in 1931,
as Casper Gutman, Sydney Greenstreet's
role in the 1941 Bogart version.
Other notable screen credits include
the 1935 Clark Gable, Charles Laughton
Mutiny on the Bounty,
The General Died at Dawn, The Light
That Failed, Son of Fury, et cetera.
He died in 1947.
RC Sherriff, in his 1968 autobiography,
described some of
the rejected adaptations he had read
prior to starting his own.
He mentioned that one turned
the invisible man "into a man from Mars,
who threatened to flood the world
with invisible Martians".
That particular approach
has not shown up as of now.
Perhaps this was
the elusive John Huston treatment,
written in the summer of 1932
when he was under contract
to Universal as a writer.
Or, perhaps Sherriff, in retrospect,
was confusing this with a project
that he and Whale were working on
at the time for Universal
called A Trip to Mars,
which was never made.
Sherriff reread HG Wells'
novel after many years,
and wondered why so many
writers of the previous scripts
had chosen to ignore
what Universal had purchased.
With Whale in agreement, Sherriff
did a dramatically sound adaptation.
Said Sherriff in his autobiography
"To give reality
to a fantastic story, HG Wells knew
it had to be told through the eyes
of ordinary, plain-spoken people."
"A screenplay, to my way of thinking,
lay about halfway
between a stage play and a novel."
"You were free from
the narrow boundaries of the stage,
but you had to keep from wandering
down the bylanes open to the novelist."
"I had to add ingredients here
and there to tighten up the drama."
Historian Paul Jensen was
the first to research and write
an in-depth study
of The Invisible Man, many years ago.
He pointed out that
some of the changes Sherriff made,
such as adding Flora and her father,
expanding Kemp's role,
and making him a romantic rival,
presented an interesting parallel.
Jensen wrote "The model for these added
aspects was probably Frankenstein."
"The two films share the situation
of a passionate young scientist
who has disappeared
in order to experiment alone,
leaving behind a worried fiance,
a fatherly associate -
Dr Cranley here becomes Dr Waldman,
and Baron Frankenstein -
and a friend who is fond of the fiance."
"By increasing Kemp's importance,
Sherriff and Whale provide Griffin
with a specific antagonist,
thereby creating a more precise conflict
than exists in the novel."
"Such a conflict is dramatically necessary
in The Invisible Man,
because there is no overt struggle
between the scientist and a monster,
as in Frankenstein."
"Here, the scientist himself
becomes the monster."
RC Sherriff, Robert Cedric Sherriff,
was born in Kingston-upon-Thames,
Surrey, England, in 1896.
He worked with Whale
on two other films at Universal,
One More River and The Road Back.
He also wrote the unproduced version
of Dracula's Daughter
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