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Helen Manson
Aliases: The Invisible Man
Continuity: Universal Monsters
Notability: Supporting character
Gender: Female
Race: Human
Location: Radcliffe Manor, England
Status: Deceased by virtue of time era
Born: 1918 [1]
First: Invisible Man Returns, The (1940)
Actor: Nan Grey

Helen Manson is a fictional character featured in the Universal Monsters film series. She is a supporting character in the 1940 movie The Invisible Man Returns where she was played by actress Nan Grey.

Overview Edit

Helen Manson filled the role of the token female love interest in this film. As the only female character in the movie, she surprisingly had very little to do or contribute. Unfortunately, this was actually a common occurrence in films of the era. Many times, female leads were there as a sounding board for the male lead, and often suffered from the "damsel in distress" story trope.

Biography Edit

Helen Manson lived in England during the 1930s and 1940s. She was born sometime around the late 1910s. Helen was the lover of Geoffrey Radcliffe and loyally supported him - even after Radcliffe had been convicted of murdering his brother, Michael.

Geoffrey and Helen had been friends with a man named Frank Griffin, who was the younger brother of John Griffin - the original Invisible Man. Frank worked to duplicate his brother's research with an invisibility formula. On the eve of Geoffrey's execution, Frank visited him in his cell and administered an injection, which turned him invisible, enabling him to escape. Helen knew of all this and kept Geoffrey's activities a secret from the authorities, as well as Geoffrey's cousin, Richard Cobb.

Helen aided Geoffrey in hiding away in a remote cottage until he could acclimate to his new form. Frank warned them both, that one of the side effects of the invisibility serum was mental deterioration. He promised to work on an antidote to restore Geoffrey to normal after he had cleared his name.

Helen Manson 001

Helen Manson

To maintain appearances, Helen continued to visit the family's estate, Radcliffe Manor. Richard had developed an interest in Helen himself, but was unaware that she was working to protect her lover.

Geoffrey eventually discovered that it was actually Richard who had murdered his brother, and framed him for the crime so that he could take control of the family fortune. He sneaked into the manor and confronted Richard, but Cobb had the benefit of police protection, and Geoffrey had to escape the household by donning the attire of a uniformed officer wearing a gas mask. He told Helen to pretend to faint, so that he could carry her out, thus paving a way for his exit without arousing suspicion.

That night at Frank's home, Helen, Frank and Geoffrey had dinner while Radcliffe regaled Griffin with the tale of their escape. During the course of conversation, Helen could see that the madness was already beginning to take hold of Geoffrey.

Radcliffe had a second encounter with Richard and succeeded in clearing his name, though the incident did result in Cobb's death, and Radcliffe being mortally wounded by gunfire. Frank Griffin managed to complete the antidote that restored Geoffrey's visibility, thus enabling medical personnel to perform emergency surgery. Miraculously, the antidote also restored Radcliffe's sanity.

Helen and Geoffrey were able to live out the remainder of their lives in peace. [2]

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • This is actress Nan Grey's third appearance in a Universal Monsters film. She also played a character named Lili in Dracula's Daughter in 1936. In 1939, she played Lady Alice Barton in the historical drama Tower of London.
  • This is actress Nan Grey's final work in both the science fiction and horror genres.

See also Edit

The World of the Invisible Man

External Links Edit

References Edit

  1. Date approximated based upon the age of actress Nan Grey.
  2. Invisible Man Returns, The (1940)