|“||An invisible man can rule the world. Nobody will see him come, nobody will see him go. He can hear every secret. He can rob, and wreck, and kill!||„|
|~ Griffin, raving about his plan for world domination.|
|“||All right, you fools. You've brought it on yourselves! Everything would have come right if you'd only left me alone. You've driven me near madness with your peering through the keyholes and gaping through the curtains, and now you'll suffer for it! You're crazy to know who I am, aren't you? All right! I'll show you!||„|
|~ Griffin before revealing himself to the pub.|
Griffin is the main antagonist in the 1897 novel The Invisible Man by the late English writer H.G. Wells and its following adaptations. He creates a potion that can make him invisible, though at the cost of losing his sanity.
Originating from one of the most iconic literary pieces of its time, the Invisible Man has become an icon of pop culture, and a legendary member among Universal's lineup of monsters, in near equal status with the likes of Dracula and Frankenstein's Monster.
|“||We'll begin with a reign of terror, a few murders here and there, murders of great men, murders of little men - well, just to show we make no distinction. I might even wreck a train or two... just these fingers around a signalman's throat, that's all.||„|
The novel's Griffin is callous and cruel from the beginning and only pursues the experiment for wealth and his ego. The film portrays Griffin more sympathetically than the novel. It shows Griffin as an honourable man who is misguided. His insanity is purely a side-effect of the invisibility drug and his motivation for the experiment was a misguided desire to do good for science and mankind, born primarily out of his love for his fiancée.
|“||Great and strange ideas transcending experience often have less effect upon men and women than smaller, more tangible considerations.||„|
|~ The novel on Griffin.|
Griffin is an albino who studies optical density. His discoveries were supposed to make him famous, and he wants all the credit to himself by quitting the university he's working and continuing his experiments in an apartment. In his studies, he eventually develops a potion that renders him invisible to the human eye.
During his invisible state, he tries desperately to find a cure. He steals money from people which magnetized him to the authorities. To hide when he takes residence at the Coach and Horses Inn in Ipling, Griffin steals a trenchcoat, dark goggles, bandages, and a fake nose to conceal his identity. However, he draws more attention when his experiments and billing to the local reverend arouse suspicion.
While escaping Ipling, Griffin forces a homeless man named Thomas Marvel to carry money for him. Marvel escapes the Invisible Man's clutches and runs off with Griffin's money. While in the town of Port Burdock, Griffin seeks help from a former acquaintance Dr. Arthur Kemp in aiding him in a reign of terror.
|“||"The man's become inhuman, I tell you," said Kemp. "I am as sure he will establish a reign of terror—so soon as he has got over the emotions of this escape—as I am sure I am talking to you. Our only chance is to be ahead. He has cut himself off from his kind. His blood be upon his own head."||„|
|~ Chapter 25 on Griffin.|
Refusing, Kemp summons the local authorities including Colonel Adye who is shot dead by Griffin. Enraged and determined to punish Kemp, Griffin follows Kemp back to Ipling. Ultimately, Griffin meets his end at the hands of the mob summoned by Kemp. In death, the invisibility effect wears off and he is visible again once more.
|“||The drugs I took seemed to light up my brain. Suddenly I realized the power I held, the power to rule, to make the world grovel at my feet.||„|
The Universal incarnation, given the first name Jack, and unlike the novel version, Jack Griffin had a more sympathetic background. He was a researcher working in food preservation and fell in love with his employer's daughter Flora. Determined to prove himself both a successful researcher and good husband material for Flora, Griffin tests with a dangerous chemical called monocane, eventually discovering the formula for making living beings invisible. However, his applications of the formula to himself drive him to insanity.
Like in the novel, Griffin seeks aid for a megalomaniacal plot to create invisible armies from Kemp who refuses. Unlike in the novel, Griffin succeeds in killing Kemp by forcing his car to crash down a hill. He is pursued and fatally shot while trying to escape. He later dies in the hospital, apologizing for his actions and noting "I meddled in things a man must leave alone." His body becomes visible after death.
League of Extrordinary Gentlemen
- Main article: Hawley Griffin
Hallow Man 2
- Main article: Michael Griffin
- Main article: Adrian Griffin
- Griffin was briefly mentioned in Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man, and a picture of him before the transformation (Claude Rains) is shown-though he's referred to as "John Griffin" instead of "Jack Griffin".