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The Invisible Ray (1936)

 
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:52 am    Post subject: The Invisible Ray (1936) Reply with quote

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Boris Karloff stars as a scientist who uses a unique telescope which permits him to see astronomical events which occurred in the distant past. He observes the approach and impact of a meteorite which fell in Africa millions of years ago.

Karloff goes to Africa and unearths the meteorite, which he discovers is made of "Radium X". Bela Lugosi is a doctor and loyal friend who provides financial assistance with Karloff's experimental attempts to learn more about the healing powers of Radium X.

Unfortunately, Karloff has been adversely affected by his contact with the substance (he glows in the dark), and he begins to go insane when he learns he can kill with his touch. Lugosi develops a temporary serum that cures the insanity and the killer touch, but Boris discovers that his wife is having an affair, and this knowledge causes him to embark on a killing spree. Eventually, even Lugosi falls prey to the increasingly murderous Karloff.

Excellent special effects by John P. Fulton. Directed by Lambert Hillyer.

"The Invisible Ray" was the first of many such roles for Karloff: noble scientists who were turned evil by some freak of science. Originally Karloff's next role was supposed to be a story about an electrically charged man, but the project was shelved until 1941, when it was filmed as "Man Made Monster" starring Lon Chaney, Jr. instead of Karloff.

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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)


Last edited by Bud Brewster on Mon Jan 22, 2024 12:02 pm; edited 7 times in total
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

This thread has been hanging around for almost a year without attracting any attention, so I've added the fine trailer from YouTube.


_____________ The Invisible Ray (1936) Trailer


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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)


Last edited by Bud Brewster on Fri Aug 11, 2023 6:42 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

IMDB has 12 trivia items for this movie, which was a pleasant surprise. Here's a few of the ones I found the most interesting. Very Happy
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Boris Karloff, who was actually an Englishman (true name: William Henry Pratt), plays a Hungarian scientist. Bela Lugosi, who was actually a Hungarian plays a Frenchman.

Note from me: I have trouble imagining Lugosi with a French accent. "Children of le night! Zee music za make, it is . . . how you say . . . beautiful, oui?"

In 1986 actress Frances Drake recalled that the crew played a joke on star Karloff. They raised him up on a platform that was intended to lower him down into the radium pit. They raised him up high over the pit and left him there when they broke for lunch. According to Drake, the actor was a good sport about it.

Note from me: "So, you play leetle joke on Bela's friend Boris, eh? So funny! Come, gaze into my eyes and see if the image of a flying bat on my pupils makes you laugh!" Evil or Very Mad

The church in which Frank Lawton and Frances Drake get married, though called the "Church of the Six Saints" in the film, is actually the set of Notre-Dame Cathedral recycled from the 1923 Universal production "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame," starring Lon Chaney, Sr.

Note from me: "I now pronounce you man and wife! Quasimodo, are you up there in the rafters, my friend? Ring the bells to celebrate this occasion!"

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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)


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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bud Brewster wrote:
In 1986 actress Frances Drake recalled that the crew played a joke on star Karloff. They raised him up on a platform that was intended to lower him down into the radium pit. They raised him up high over the pit and left him there when they broke for lunch. According to Drake, the actor was a good sport about it.

Note from me: "So, you play leetle joke on Bela, eh? So funny! Come, gaze into my eyes and see if the image of a flying bat on my pupils makes you laugh!"
[/size]

No, they play leetle joke on Karloff.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

Ah-ha. Thanks. It was just a little mistake, easy to fix.

And I noticed I'd said "Igor" instead of "Quasimodo" in the last one, so I fixed that, too. Very Happy

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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)


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Krel.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't seen this movie in decades. I don't know if this is true, but I read in a book back in the 70s that the scene where the statute is disintegrated by the ray was done by putting iron filings in a mold. The mold was then placed on a electromagnet which was switched on. The mold was then removed, and while the camera was rolling, the electromagnet was switched off, and the stature disintegrated.

David.
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Phantom
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2020 3:50 pm    Post subject: The Invisible Ray Reply with quote

A curious mix of science fiction and horror, this was the last of their collaborations to bill them by their last names: Karloff and Lugosi, and, I believe, the last time they were evenly paired.

Lugosi would steal Son of Frankenstein from Karloff and the British actor would take star billing in The Body Snatcher where Lugosi was reduced (by ill health and a waning career) to a walking shadow of himself.

Lambert Hillyer was signed on as director after Stuart Walker jumped ship. Universal refused to allow him time for script repairs and preparation, and he refused to be steamrolled.

Hillyer had spent years filming low budget westerns in a remarkably short time. He was able to accommodate Universal's demands while still delivering a fast-paced movie that does not seem rushed.

Karloff does a remarkable job of turning the cold scientist Janos Rukh into a tragic figure, even at the height of his madness, partly because of his warm relationship with his mother (expertly played by Violet Kemble Cooper) who was blinded in an earlier scientific experiment.

As Dr. Benet, Lugosi adds a few complications to his character who, on the surface, appears to be a stalwart humanitarian. His often condescending tone to Karloff belies something underneath. And watch for the scene in which he finishes treating an African baby, then hands "the little creature" to his assistant on a serving tray.

The movie was released at the end of Universal's Golden cycle which began with Dracula. The European market was drying up; they were more concerned with events transpiring in Germany than in some mythical Transylvanian realm concocted by Hollywood.

The second cycle wouldn't begin until Son of Frankenstein in 1939.

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2020 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

Phantom, your review has inspired me! Cool

I saw this move just once, back in the 1960s on Big Movie Shocker, a beloved Friday night late show in Atlanta hosted by the legendary Bestoink Dooley.



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I remember being impress by the scenes in Karloff's laboratory when he used his revolutionary equipment to observe a meteoroid headed towards Earth.

Cool stuff. Cool

I can't find a download of this movies, and Netflix doesn't have it. Sad

At times like this I yearn to be independently wealthy and capable of starting a new satellite/cable channel called All Sci-Fi, which presented movies like this one to loyal fans like us.

I'd hire our famous T-shirt model to host some of the programs, similar to TCM's various hosts, like the lovely Alicia Malone.




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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)


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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2020 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

I suppose it won't do any harm to finally reveal the long concealed fact that All Sci-Fi's lovely T-Shirt model's real name is Charity, and that she's a medical professional currently residing in California, battling the Coronavirus.

Back when the picture above was taken, she lived two door down from me, near the banks of the duck pond shown behind her in the picture which I've frequently posted.

Back on April 11th, 2011 I knocked on her door one day and boldly asked her if she'd do me a favor by modeling the very first prototype of the All Sci-Fi T-Shirt for my message board.

She was so flattered by the offer that she agreed to a photo session, which we held a few days later on the banks of our town home's duck pond.

Out of about 30 pictures I took with my reliable old Kodak 4 megapixel camera —



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— the one in the post above was the best.

Okay, guys, now I know that your all wondering what this has to do with The Invisible Ray? Shocked

Well . . . absolutely nothing . . . Sad

But I felt frustrated that I wasn't able to post a YouTube video of the full movie — or even a link to an inexpensive DVD from Amazon — so I decided to post this warm and fuzzy message about Sweet Charity, who is now in California, fighting to defeat this damn virus!

So, here's the original picture of Charity before I cropped it with Paint.net, made her lovely eyes even greener, and fixed her two front teeth so they weren't longer than the ones on each side.



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Trust me, guys . . . she's just as sweet as she looks.

Damn, if only I could edit reality as easily as I do images like this one. Sad

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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)


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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Krel wrote:
I don't know if this is true, but I read in a book back in the 70s that the scene where the statute is disintegrated by the ray was done by putting iron filings in a mold. The mold was then placed on a electromagnet which was switched on. The mold was then removed, and while the camera was rolling, the electromagnet was switched off, and the stature disintegrated.

That's amazing!

YouTube has the move, but the image is reversed — and it also plays BACKWARDS! Shocked

I haven't seen it since the earlier 1960s, and I remember very little about it. I guess the only way I'll get to see it again is on TCM.
Sad
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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)


Last edited by Bud Brewster on Fri Aug 11, 2023 6:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2023 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

Good news! The fine folks at Internet Archive have a good print of this movie — and thay's what we're watching tonight on All Sci-Fi's Friday Live Chat! (<— link)

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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)
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DonM435
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2024 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Invisible Ray has been an idiosyncratic favorite of mine since I first saw it on Chicago’s version of Shock Theatre a hundred years ago. No, actually it was more like 66 years ago, but who’s counting?

Last year, I managed to get an article on the film published in Castle of Frankenstein #37.

The Invisible Ray: Last Gasp of Wonder Science” analyzes the classic 1936 film: My appreciation of its art, and also my assessment of how its exposition of science and technology relates to its stage (e.g.,The World of the 1930s, with new elements, new materials, new galaxies … and a new War looming). Werner Heisenberg, Albert Einstein, Edwin Hubble, and Marie Curie come into view alongside Karloff, Lugosi, John Colton and Lambert Hillyer I began this article long ago for a magazine now extinct, but continued to revise and update it along the way. I’m proud of COF’s presentation of the text and the added graphics.

If anyone's read it, I'd be happy to discuss it here.

-- Don Mankowski


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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2024 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Don, we're delighted that such a learned and interesting Monsterkid has joined our humble group of science fiction enthusiast here at the little spaceport bar we call All Sci-Fi! Very Happy

Click on the picture of Bud the Bartender below and take the grand tour of All Sci-Fi, just to get better acquainted with the layout.



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As for The Invisible Ray, it was one of the movies featured on The Big Movie Shocker, the Friday late show I used to watch in Atlanta back in the early 1960s. It was hosted by Hall of Fame member Bestoink Dooley.


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We here at ASF love to share our memories of seeing classic movies when we were kids — so PLEASE feel free to "wax eloquent" on that subject as often as you wish. Our motto is, "No memory is too old, no detail it too small, and no movie is to moldy!" Cool

Speaking of movies, check out the link below, which has the schedules for ASF’s Friday & Saturday Night Chats
.

ASF Friday Nite Chat & ASF's Saturday Night @ the Movies

By the way, Don, I found a great image of the cover from Castle of Frankenstein #37!

But perhaps I can find a copy of the article itself. If I can, I'll do what I've often done here on All Sci-Fi — post the whole article on the board. I'm eager to read it my self, not to mention the one about "George Pal's Lost Time Machine II". Very Happy

Bud Mr. Green



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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)
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