AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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The Invisible Woman
Director: A. Edward Sutherland (Dir)
Release Date:   27 Dec 1940
Production Date:   began early Oct 1940
Duration (in mins):   70
Duration (in reels):   8
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Cast:   John Barrymore (Professor Gibbs)  
    Virginia Bruce (Kitty Carroll)  
    John Howard (Richard Russell)  
    Charlie Ruggles (George)  
    Oscar Homolka (Blackie)  
    Edward Brophy (Bill)  
    Donald MacBride (Foghorn)  
    Margaret Hamilton (Mrs. Jackson)  
    Shemp Howard (Frankie)  
    Anne Nagel (Jean)  
    Kathryn Adams (Peggy)  
    Maria Montez (Marie)  
    Charles Lane (Grawley)  
    Mary Gordon (Mrs. Bates)  
    Thurston Hall (Hudson)  
    Eddie Conrad (Hernandez)  
    Kay Leslie (Model)  
    Kay Linaker (Buyer)  
    Sarah Edwards (Buyer)  
    Kitty O'Neil (Mrs. Patten)  
    Harry C. Bradley (Want-ad man)  
    Kernan Cripps (Postman)  

Summary: When extravagant playboy Richard Russell exhausts his inheritance, he is forced to discontinue his patronage of eccentric scientist Professor Gibbs. As he is on the verge of perfecting his experiments with invisibility, the professor decides to continue his work and advertises for a subject to test his invention. Answering the call of adventure, model Kitty Carroll consents to become his first subject. The experiment is a success, and the professor rushes to tell Dick that he will be able to recoup his money through sales of the machine. While still invisible, Kitty decides to exact revenge on her abusive boss and disappears. Unable to find the elusive Kitty, Dick decides that the professor has gone mad and retreats to his fishing lodge. Meanwhile, a gang of crooks decides to steal the machine to render their leader, Blackie, invisible so that he can return from his hideout in Mexico. Kitty, her revenge accomplished, returns to the professor, and he drives her to Dick's lodge, where she gets drunk and falls in love with Dick. While Dick is romancing the invisible Kitty, the crooks steal the professor's machine and truck it to Mexico. The next day, a visible Kitty and the professor return to his lab to find the machine missing. In Mexico, the crooks discover that they need the secret formula for the machine to work, and consequently, they return to kidnap Kitty and the professor. Dick, who has fallen in love with Kitty, follows them to Mexico. At Blackie's hideout, Kitty, who has discovered that alcohol will render her invisible, drinks some spirits and captures the entire gang. When Dick arrives, she allows him to rescue her, and all ends happily as they marry and have a semi-invisible baby. 

Production Company: Universal Pictures Co.  
Distribution Company: Universal Pictures Co.  
Director: A. Edward Sutherland (Dir)
  Joseph McDonough (Asst dir)
Producer: Burt Kelly (Assoc prod)
Writer: Robert Lees (Scr)
  Fred Rinaldo (Scr)
  Gertrude Purcell (Scr)
  Kurt Siodmak (Orig story)
  Joe May (Orig story)
Photography: Elwood Bredell (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Jack Otterson (Art dir)
  Richard H. Riedel (Art dir assoc)
Film Editor: Frank Gross (Film ed)
Set Decoration: R. A. Gausman (Set dec)
Costumes: Vera West (Gowns)
Music: Charles Previn (Mus dir)
Sound: Bernard B. Brown (Sd supv)
  Joseph Lapis (Sd tech)
Special Effects: John Fulton (Photog eff)
Country: United States
Series: Invisible Man

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Universal Pictures Co. 31/12/1940 dd/mm/yyyy LP10146

PCA NO: 6945
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Recording

 
Genre: Science fiction
  Comedy
  Science fiction
 
Subjects (Major): Experiments
  Invisibility
  Models
  Playboys
  Romance
  Scientists
 
Subjects (Minor): Benefactors
  Drunkenness
  Gangsters
  Inventions
  Kidnapping
  Liquor
  Mexico
  Resorts
  Thieves

Note: According to a news item in HR , Margaret Sullavan was to have played the lead in this picture, but refused the role. In the film, the character name "Grawley" is spelled two different ways. In the opening credits it is spelled "Grawley," while on his office door it is printed as "Growley." For other Universal films about invisibility, see entry above for The Invisible Man

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   30 Dec 40   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   29 Aug 40   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   11 Oct 40   pp. 8-9.
Hollywood Reporter   30 Dec 40   p. 3.
New York Times   9 Jan 41   p. 27.
Variety   1 Jan 41   p. 14.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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