The Invisible Man Returns is a 1940 American horror science fiction film directed by Joe May. The film stars Cedric Hardwicke, Vincent Price, Nan Grey and John Sutton. The film is a sequel to the 1933 film The Invisible Man, it is the second film in the Invisible Man film series. The film is about Sir Geoffrey Radcliffe (Price) who is condemned for a murder he did not commit, which leads to him begging Dr. Frank Griffin (Sutton) to inject him with the invisibility serum despite Griffin's warning that the serum will drive him mad.
Following the commercial success of Son of Frankenstein, Universal Studios announced the development of The Invisible Man Returns in March 1939. The film went through a few screenwriters and directors before choosing Joe May to direct and Lester K. Cole and Curt Siodmak to write the script. Production went behind schedule early into the production and led to late night filming and production ending in November. The film was released on January 12, 1940. The special effects by John P. Fulton, Bernard B. Brown and William Hedgcock received an Oscar nomination in the category Best Special Effects
Sir Geoffrey Radcliffe (Vincent Price) is sentenced to death for the murder of his brother Michael, a crime he did not commit. Dr. Frank Griffin, the brother of the original invisible man injects the prisoner with an invisibility drug. As Radcliffe's execution nears, he suddenly vanishes from his cell. Detective Sampson (Cecil Kellaway) from Scotland Yard guesses the truth while Radcliffe searches for the real murderer before the drug causes him to go insane.
The Radcliffe family owns a mining operation. The recently promoted employee Willie Spears (Alan Napier) is promoted within the company, stirring Radcliffe's suspicions After forcing Spears' car off the road, Spears is frightened into revealing that Richard Cobb (Sir Cedric Hardwicke), Radcliffe's cousin, is the murderer. After a confrontation, a chase scene ensues during which Radcliffe is struck by a bullet from Sampson. Cobb is fatally injured by falling from a coal wagon but confesses to the murder before he dies.
Now cleared of all wrongdoing, Radcliffe, dying from blood loss and exposure, makes his way to Dr. Griffin. A number of Radcliffe's employees volunteer to donate blood to Radcliffe. The transfusion succeeds, making Radcliffe visible again, allowing the doctor to operate and save his life.