6.6/10
1,985
51 user 41 critic

The Invisible Ray (1936)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller | 20 January 1936 (USA)
A scientist becomes murderous after discovering, and being exposed to the radiation of, a powerful new element called Radium X.

Director:

Lambert Hillyer

Writers:

John Colton (screenplay), Howard Higgin (original story) | 1 more credit »
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Boris Karloff ... Dr. Janos Rukh (as Karloff)
Bela Lugosi ... Dr. Felix Benet
Frances Drake ... Diana Rukh
Frank Lawton ... Ronald Drake
Violet Kemble Cooper ... Mother Rukh
Walter Kingsford ... Sir Francis Stevens
Beulah Bondi ... Lady Arabella Stevens
Frank Reicher ... Professor Meiklejohn (Mendelssohn in end credits)
Paul Weigel Paul Weigel ... Monsieur Noyer
Georges Renavent Georges Renavent ... Chief of the Surete (as Georges Renevant)
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Storyline

Visionary scientist Janos Rukh convinces a group of scientists and supporters to mount an expedition to the African continent to locate and study an ancient meteorite of great significance. He exposes himself to the highly toxic radiation of the meteorite, and while an antidote devised by Dr. Benet saves him from death by radiation poisoning, his naked touch causes instant death to others. Back in London, the benefits of the meteorite's controlled radiation offer Dr. Benet an opportunity to restore eyesight to the blind. The antidote's toxicity excites Prof. Rukh into paranoid rages as he seeks revenge against the members of his expedition, who he accuses of stealing his discovery for their own glory. Written by Sister Grimm <srgrimm@teleport.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In his brain - the world's most powerful secret! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

20 January 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le rayon invisible See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene of Boris Karloff being lowered into the pit containing the Radium X meteor was reused in a 1939 Universal serial, "The Phantom Creeps," starring Bela Lugosi. Karloff essentially "doubled" for Lugosi in the sequence since in "The Phantom Creeps" it was Lugosi who was lowered into the pit. See more »

Goofs

The opening view of the Carpathian castle shows a starry sky. Stars are again seen through the telescope opening in the observatory roof. But there is highly inclement weather in other parts of the opening scenes. Diana and Mother Rukh are witness to much lightning and thunder. Plus, there is fog and howling winds when the car arrives with Dr. Benet and company. See more »

Quotes

Ronald Drake: He shan't reach out of the grave and ruin our lives!
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end: "A Universal Cast is Worth Repeating." This credit appeared on many Universal films of that era, not just "The Invisible Ray". It did not, however, appear on the cast list for the 1936 "Show Boat", which Universal also made. See more »

Connections

Featured in Lugosi: The Forgotten King (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner
Played on an organ for the wedding
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Delightfully Silly and Naive Sci-Fi
20 November 2007 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

The scientist Janos Rukh (Boris Karloff) has been expelled from the scientific community due to the lack of credibility in his researches. Living isolated in a castle with his blind mother (Violet Kemble Cooper) and his wife Diane (Frances Drake), he makes a private presentation of the recently discovered invisible ray to his colleague Dr. Felix Benet (Bela Lugosi), and succeeds in being sponsored by Sir Francis Stevens (Walter Kingsford) and his wife Lady Arabella Stevens (Beulah Bondi) in an expedition to Nigeria, where he believe he could find a meteor with Radium X. Once in Africa, Janos leaves the expedition alone and finds the meteor, but is exposed to its radiation, acquiring a deadly touch that immediately kills anyone who is touched by him. Meanwhile, Diane falls in love for the son of Lady Arabella, Ronald Drake (Frank Lawton). Dr. Benet finds an antidote to control the effects of the radiation in Janos to be daily injected, but advises that the side effect could bring madness to him. Dr. Benet returns to Paris and steals the findings of Janos, exposing and using Janos's researches to the scientific community, while the deranged Janos seeks revenge against those that have betrayed him.

"The Invisible Ray" is a delightfully silly and naive sci-fi visibly inspired in H.G. Well's "The Invisible Man" of 1933. This minor film is a great opportunity to see Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi acting together. The story is entertaining but with questionable ethical and moral behaviors of the lead characters. Dr. Felix Benet steals the research of his colleague that needed to recover the esteem together with the scientific community for self-profit and self- promotion. Diane Rukh has an affair with Ronald Drake in the absence of her husband in Africa. Mother Rukh breaks the only chance of survival of her only son that loved her and recovered and healed her vision. And Janos Rukh does not tell his wife that is sick and kills innocent people to reach his personal vendetta. In the end, all the characters are unpleasant. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "O Raio Invisível" ("The Invisible Ray")


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