Claude Rains

The Invisible Man 1933

One of the most common fantasy powers to have – arguably right up there with flying and super strength – is the power of invisibility. Long before Harry Potter got his invisibility cloak or Susan Storm was given the ability to make herself invisible, H.G. Wells introduced modern popular culture to the double-sided coin this power could hold. Years after Wells wrote his book “The Invisible Man,” Universal Studios adapted the story into a film with Claude Rains, which spawned several inferior sequels. Throughout the years, our fascination with invisibility continued to show, in modern versions of the story by John Carpenter (Memoirs of an Invisible Man) and Paul Verhoeven (Hollow Man) as well as elements of other films like the goofy sci-fi invisible Aston Martin in Die Another Day. In fact, invisibility shows up so much in movies that it got me thinking about it more than I ever did walking past the girls’ shower room while I was in high school. Could a person really ever become invisible?

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mrsmith-1

One of the most famous films that Jimmy Stewart ever had to stand to the point of exhaustion in was Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Made almost a decade before his even more famous yet less senatorial It’s a Wonderful Life, the film tells the story of a small-town man who is appointed as a U.S. Senator to replace one that has suddenly died. Stewart stars as Jefferson Smith, an idealistic man who takes his new job almost too seriously. However, Smith’s wide-eyed wonder at the seat of government is soon rocked by political corruption and dirty dealings. Smith tries to arrange the use of public land for boy rangers in his home state, causing a problem for the building of a dam in the same area — a dam that’s a critical part of a bill being pursued by local tycoon and political heavy Jim Taylor (Edward Arnold) who has the state’s other Senator, Joseph Paine (Claude Rains), as well as the media back home, in his pocket. When Smith sees he’s being railroaded out of the process, his secretary Clarissa Saunders (Jean Arthur) helps him use the political machine to uncover the truth. Smith is forced to take the Senate floor, beginning a one-man filibuster to delay the voting on the bill until the people from his home state cry out to support his cause. Without pink sneakers, Smith makes it just shy of 24 hours before collapsing from exhaustion. So it got us wondering: can a […]

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Science Fiction is, sadly, not always seen as high art. However, there are some brilliant acting talents who have dared to slum it in the world of science fiction. Here’s the 15 most notable ones.

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A character that has endured 600 years gives us the unique chance to compare films featuring the same figure but are radically different because of the technological limitations of the time.

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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