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 Posted:   Oct 17, 2013 - 2:47 AM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

This television series came to mind after I'd posted a thread on "The Mummy". I used to watch this program when it was re-run in Australia in the early 1960's. Notice how small the man's head is if you look at this opening shot with the credits. That shirt collar is just too narrow!!

I always laughed when the invisible man was 'driving' his sports car - well, nobody was driving. I still wonder how they achieved those shots!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp8eTSl-VsA

Actually, the title music is strangely reminiscent of Howard Shore's score for "Ed Wood"!!

Here's a different opening sequence (it's the one I remember):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHaBERUwDbQ

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2013 - 10:30 AM   
 By:   Jim Doherty   (Member)

Never mind the music... dig Hazel Court as the sexy puppeteer in the that second episode you listed! Hubba hubba!

 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2013 - 5:20 PM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

I always laughed when the invisible man was 'driving' his sports car - well, nobody was driving. I still wonder how they achieved those shots!

I can't see the videos you link to from my work system...but the car thing - I've seen it done a few different ways and I would imagine, bearing in mind the era, it's a tall man very cleverly camouflaged as the car seat who is actually driving...and a clever camera angle or two...but even some effects from the 30's version still have me scratching my head, if I'm honest!

Was "invisibility" perhaps the first perfected Special/Visual Effects technique...?

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2013 - 8:02 PM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

Now THAT'S an extremely interesting question!! We can detect "invisibility" in some of the Melies films from the early 1900's, if I'm not mistaken. And Melies was, of course, a magician. Puffs of smoke and jump cuts enabled an image to disappear from the screen. Also, superimposition was a very early cinematic special effect, astonishingly enough. When one realizes that in order to achieve a 'zoom in' for a shot in "Metropolis" the DP erected a primitive swing, this puts invisibility into context. Remember that shot?

What an interesting subject!!

 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2013 - 10:24 PM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

Yup - easy to forget what an impact he must have had in the earlier days...and no doubt at all that he was the inspiration (and - effectively - technician) for some of those cinematic marvels that can can surprise and delight even 70-80 years later or more.

I'm not sure of the shot in Metropolis you mention....it's far too long since I've sat and watched it (which is shameful since I often list it among the top sci-fi films, if not the top films, ever made)...time to dig out the DVD maybe...!

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2013 - 12:36 AM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

It would be 110 years since Melies!!

The shot from "Metropolis" is after the Moloch explosion and the son (character name forgotten) is rocked by the impact and almost falls over. The camera dollies or zooms in to him and it has a very detectable swinging action. The lenses were so basic back then but, incredibly, film-makers could still make a film look absolutely stunning!! And the acting in "Metropolis" is inspired - these actors never spoke a word but, boy, their faces told all.

I have a huge interest in the technical elements of film and have long considered sound as the most advanced achievement, even considering the computer and digital images replacing celluloid. The sound changes even fostered a new acting style - method - where actors didn't have to raise their voices to be heard; microphones could detect the slightest nuances in their voices and this enabled them to really play around with notions of characterisation. Think of "mumbles" Brando being able to do that in even the early 50's!! It all went ahead furiously after stereophonic sound.

It's a wonderful topic and I love it!

 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2013 - 1:42 AM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

It would be 110 years since Melies!!

Yes, sorry, re-reading my post I wasn't clear (that's what I get for typing up posts quickly in a coffee break during a VERY long nightshift)....I meant 70-80 years and more since films such as The Invisible Man and the like were directly inspired (and no doubt some techniques copied from) Melies...and it's those films that still have the ability to awe us.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2013 - 7:21 AM   
 By:   cine50   (Member)

This television series came to mind after I'd posted a thread on "The Mummy". I used to watch this program when it was re-run in Australia in the early 1960's. Notice how small the man's head is if you look at this opening shot with the credits. That shirt collar is just too narrow!!

I always laughed when the invisible man was 'driving' his sports car - well, nobody was driving. I still wonder how they achieved those shots!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp8eTSl-VsA

Actually, the title music is strangely reminiscent of Howard Shore's score for "Ed Wood"!!

Here's a different opening sequence (it's the one I remember):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHaBERUwDbQ



Actually, not a bad series for its day. I'm ancient enough to remember watching it during its first run in the US. I am fascinated by the fact that it was Ralph Smart who was the producer. A year or so later he went on to produce DANGER MAN / SECRET AGENT. In those episodes of THE INVISABLE MAN, particularly the ones which involved plots of foreign intrigue, you can see preliminary shades of DANGER MAN.

Ed G.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2013 - 7:21 AM   
 By:   cine50   (Member)

This television series came to mind after I'd posted a thread on "The Mummy". I used to watch this program when it was re-run in Australia in the early 1960's. Notice how small the man's head is if you look at this opening shot with the credits. That shirt collar is just too narrow!!

I always laughed when the invisible man was 'driving' his sports car - well, nobody was driving. I still wonder how they achieved those shots!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp8eTSl-VsA

Actually, the title music is strangely reminiscent of Howard Shore's score for "Ed Wood"!!

Here's a different opening sequence (it's the one I remember):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHaBERUwDbQ



Actually, not a bad series for its day. I'm ancient enough to remember watching it during its first run in the US. I am fascinated by the fact that it was Ralph Smart who was the producer. A year or so later he went on to produce DANGER MAN / SECRET AGENT. In those episodes of THE INVISABLE MAN, particularly the ones which involved plots of foreign intrigue, you can see preliminary shades of DANGER MAN.

Ed G.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2013 - 1:49 PM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

They reflected a kind of cold-war mindset, many of them. Secret agents, espionage and the like (particularly the latter programs you mention).

I think British television drama came of age in this era but these days it seems to have fallen victim to humorless, self-actualizing characters who are aggressive and have "issues". Apart from Robbie Coltrane's "Cracker", I cannot think of a memorable British 'crime' series in the last 20 years. So, I look back with fondness at the uniqueness of programs like "The Invisible Man", and this program actually frightened me when I was a kid - with it's theramin-accompanying 'invisibility' technique.

 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2013 - 2:52 PM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

Apart from Robbie Coltrane's "Cracker", I cannot think of a memorable British 'crime' series in the last 20 years.

I would tend to agree - for the most part the much-loved recent crime dramas such as Prime Suspect, Waking the Dead etc have left me cold...but if you've never seen it try and catch a Minisieries called "Messiah" (and it's sequels - of which there are four of varying quality)....the original is an absolute tour-de-force.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2013 - 3:11 PM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

I've never heard of it but thanks for the great tip!! I'll watch out.

My husband and I have just returned from our daily constitutional and we were discussing British TV shows like "The Saint". My husband observed that Moore's was a rather tongue-in-cheek style which only added to the general panache of the program.

"Cracker" was brilliantly written and Coltrane's world-weary and cynical eponymous hero was absolutely one of the very greatest. British writing: has there ever been better?

As a child I can remember sitting up with my 3 sisters and watching (it seems funny to use that word) "The Invisible Man" and that intro with the bandaged but hollow face was unforgettable, as was the moniker of "H.G. Wells". Now I'm showing my age!!!

 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2013 - 3:25 PM   
 By:   welwynfilmstudios   (Member)

Never mind the music... dig Hazel Court as the sexy puppeteer in the that second episode you listed! Hubba hubba!

The series also a starred a very young Deborah Watling.

 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2013 - 4:52 PM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

I've never heard of it but thanks for the great tip!! I'll watch out.

Based on the book by Boris Starling (who also manages a cameo) - follows Detective Red Metcalfe (Ken Stott), who has a knack of understanding killers, as he tries to solve a series of apparently unrelated and gory killings at the same time as dealing with some issues from his past (aren't they all?)...excellent writing, exciting pacing, sincere performances (for the most part) and Stott is as good as he has ever been...excellent (and, as yet, sadly unreleased) score by Michel Colombier too. Quite gruesome at times - in case you are turned off by that kind of thing.

Messiah II: Vengeance Is Mine is watchable, Messiah III: The Promise is largely missable, Messiah IV: The Harrowing is an excellent return to form, and Messiah V: The Rapture is just fine (with a totally new cast including Marc Warren as the new 'tec in charge). Well worth checking out - a favourite of mine (as was the book).

 
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