The Invisible Ray (1936)

35mm film, black and white, 1.37:1


An American science fiction film directed by Lambert Hillyer.

Plot Summary

Eminent scientist Dr Rukh leads an expedition to Africa in search of what's left of an ancient meteorite. He's contaminated by the toxic given off by the fragments of rock and has to rely on the skill of fellow scientist Dr Benet to come up with an antidote. In the meantime, he returns to London and finds that the radiation gives him the ability to restore sight to the blind – but when Benet perfects the antidote, Rukh becomes paranoid and accuses his colleague of trying to take away his new-found gift. As the radiation takes hold, so Rukh becomes more and more unhinged…


* = uncredited

Directed by: Lambert Hillyer
Copyright MCMXXXVI [1936] by Universal Productions, Inc. Carl Laemmle, president
A Universal picture. Carl Laemmle presents. An Edmund Grainger production
Executive Producer: Fred S. Meyer *
Screenplay: John Colton
Original Story: Howard Higgin, Douglas Hodges
Cinematographer: George Robinson
Film Editor: Bernard W. Burton
Musical Score: Franz Waxman
Orchestrator: Clifford Vaughan *
Sound Supervisor: Gilbert Kurland
Noiseless Western Electric Recording
Gowns by: Brymer
Special Cinematographer: John P. Fulton
Art Director: Albert S. D'Agostino
Technical Advisor: Ted Behr *
Production Assistant: Alfred Stern

Boris Karloff [real name: Boris Karloff] (Dr Janos Rukh)
Bela Lugosi (Dr Felix Benet)
Frances Drake (Diana Rukh)
Frank Lawton (Ronald Drake)
Violet Kemble Cooper (Mother Rukh)
Walter Kingsford (Sir Francis Stevens)
Beulah Bondi (Lady Arabella Stevens)
Frank Reicher (Professor Mieklejohn)
Paul Weigel (Monsieur Noyer)
Georges Renavent (chief of the Surete)
Ernie Adams *
May Beatty [Mme LeGrand] *
Helen Brown [blind girl's mother] *
Ann Marie Conte [blind girl] *
Dudley Dickerson [bearer who first sees Rukh glow] *
Winter Hall [minister] *
Daniel L. Haynes [Rukh's head bearer] *
Etta McDaniel [Diana's safari attendant] *
Walter Miller [derelict] *
Hans Schumm [clinic valet] *
Ynez Seabury [Celeste] *
Adele St. Mauer [Mme Noyer] *
Lawrence Stewart [runner-boy] *
Ray Turner [bearer with Geiger counter] *
Lucio Villegas [Pierre] *
Nydia Westman [Briggs] *

Alternative Titles

Il raggio invisibile – Italian title
Tödliche Strahlen – German title


The Dark Side no.66 p.27 – review, credits
Filmfax no.61 (June/July 1997) pp.44, 45 – illustrated credits, review
Filmfax no.72 (April/May 1999) p.42 – illustrated article
Films in Review vol.37 no.3 (March 1986) pp.158-161 – review
Kine Weekly no.1504 (13 February 1936) – review
Monthly Film Bulletin vol.3 no.26 (February 1936) p.28 – credits, synopsis, review
Today's Cinema vol.73 no.5842 (16 August 1949) p.6 – review

Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction p.96 – credits, review
The Horror Factory by Bruce Dettman and Michael Bedford pp.48-50 – article
Of Gods and Monsters by John T. Soister pp.254-259 – illustrated credits, article
by Walt Lee p.222 – credits
Universal Horrors by Michael Brunas, John Brunas and Tom Weaver – credits, article