“Power, power to rule. To make the world grovel at my feet.”

A man covered in bandages wearing dark goggles rents a room at The Lion's Head Inn in a small English village. When he gets behind in his rent the innkeeper goes to his room to evict him. The man gets angry and throws the innkeeper down the stairs. When confronted by police he takes off his bandages and clothes to show that he is actually invisible. Laughing like a maniac he rushes out into the countryside.

The stranger is Dr. Jack Griffin (Claude Rains). He is a chemist. Using an obscure drug called monocane he has discovered the secret of invisibility. Unfortunately he doesn’t know how to change himself back.

Flora Cranley (Gloria Stuart) is Griffin's fiancée. She is also the daughter of Griffin's employer Dr. Cranley (Henry Travers). Flora is concerned about Jack’s long absence. Cranley and his other assistant, Dr. Arthur Kemp (William Harrigan) search Jack’s laboratory for clues. All they find is one note. It is a list of chemicals. One of the chemicals is of concern to Cranley. It is the dangerous chemical monocane. He knows that the chemical causes insanity.

After he runs from the Inn Jack goes to Kemp’s home. Now basically insane, Jack wants Kemp to be his partner. His aim, world domination. He forces Kemp to drive back to the Inn so he can retrieve his notes. On his way out he kills a police officer.

When Kemp returns home he calls Cranley and then the police. Flora finds out that Jack is at Kemp’s home. She insists on going with her father. Flora tries to talk to Jack, but he becomes more erratic as he sees the police and realizes that Kemp has betrayed him. Leaving Kemp with a promise of death Jack goes on a killing spree.

The police need a plan to try to catch Jack. How do you trap someone you can’t see? And when you do come up with a plan, what do you use for bait? Kemp seems the logical choice.

“The Invisible Man” was released in 1933 and was directed by James Whale. It is based on the book by H.G. Wells. In order to achieve the effect that Claude Rains wasn't there when his character took off the bandages, James Whale had Rains dressed completely in black velvet and filmed him in front of a black velvet background.

What are amazing about this movie are not only the technical aspects, but the dynamic performance coming from a man you can not see. Claude Rains is powerful and commanding as Jack Griffin. This was Rain’s second film, and his first talkie. Between Rains and Whale you actually think you see more than you do. Claude Rains is both the mad scientist and the monster. A duo role that he plays with relish.