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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
The image of Earth projected by Janos Rukh is stated to be that of the planet as it appeared millions of years ago. This projection shows the continents in their modern configuration. But the continents have shifted radically during the past and would have looked entirely different from they way they do today. See more »
Dr. Felix Benet:
I believe that this city is at the mercy of a madman whose body is an engine of destruction.
See more »
The character of "Professor Meiklejohn," correct in the opening credits, is listed as "Professor Mendelssohn" in the closing credits. See more »
One doesn't get to enjoy this gem, the 1936 Invisible Ray, often. But no can forget it. The story is elegant. Karloff, austere and embittered in his Carpathian mountain retreat, is Janos Rukh, genius science who reads ancient beams of light to ascertain events in the great geological past particularly the crash of a potent radioactive meteor in Africa. Joining him is the ever-elegant Lugosi (as a rare hero), who studies "astro-chemistry." Frances Drake is the lovely, underused young wife; Frank Lawton the romantic temptation; and the divine Violet Kemble Cooper is Mother Rukh, in a performance worthy of Maria Ospenskya.
The story moves swiftly in bold episodes, with special effects that are still handsome. It also contains some wonderful lines. One Rukh restores his mother's sight, he asks, "Mother, can you see, can you see?" "Yes, I can see more clearly than ever. And what I see frightens me." Even better when mother Rukh says, "He broke the first law of science." I am not alone among my acquaintance in having puzzled for many many years exactly what this first law of science is.
This movie is definitely desert island material.
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