Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992)

PG-13 | 99 mins | Comedy-drama | 28 February 1992

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HISTORY

According to the film's production notes, actor Chevy Chase and producer Bruce Bodner acquired rights to the unfinished novel from author H.F. Saint in 1986. An Aug 1986 Los Angeles Magazine news item reported that Warner Bros. paid “$1 million-plus” for the property, which was scheduled to be published by Atheneum in Oct 1986. The high purchase price was due to a “bidding war” between Warner Bros. and a number of other studios after Chase asked Warner Bros. to option the book, as reported by a 20 Jul 1986 LAT news item.
       Though production notes stated that Chase and Bodner “immediately” approached John Carpenter to direct, a 30 May 1991 DV article listed Ivan Reitman and Dick Donner as directors who had been previously attached.
       The film shot on location for almost three weeks in San Francisco, CA, which producer Dan Kolsrud believed fit the setting with its “mist and fog creat[ing] the effect of obscuring things that you know are right in front of you.” Filmmakers endured rainy weather in San Francisco, a problem as scenes needed to be shot “under dry conditions” for Chase’s character, whose “outline becomes visible when rain falls on him.” Additional shooting took place in Los Angeles, CA.
       Production notes stated that the Magnascopics buidling, which appeared as partially invisible in the film, was constructed on Stage 16 of Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, CA, using “structural steel cables” to connect “various floating floors of the building” to the six-story structure created by production designer Larry Paull. For special effects, the film was one of the first to employ certain “digital compositing” techniques created ... More Less

According to the film's production notes, actor Chevy Chase and producer Bruce Bodner acquired rights to the unfinished novel from author H.F. Saint in 1986. An Aug 1986 Los Angeles Magazine news item reported that Warner Bros. paid “$1 million-plus” for the property, which was scheduled to be published by Atheneum in Oct 1986. The high purchase price was due to a “bidding war” between Warner Bros. and a number of other studios after Chase asked Warner Bros. to option the book, as reported by a 20 Jul 1986 LAT news item.
       Though production notes stated that Chase and Bodner “immediately” approached John Carpenter to direct, a 30 May 1991 DV article listed Ivan Reitman and Dick Donner as directors who had been previously attached.
       The film shot on location for almost three weeks in San Francisco, CA, which producer Dan Kolsrud believed fit the setting with its “mist and fog creat[ing] the effect of obscuring things that you know are right in front of you.” Filmmakers endured rainy weather in San Francisco, a problem as scenes needed to be shot “under dry conditions” for Chase’s character, whose “outline becomes visible when rain falls on him.” Additional shooting took place in Los Angeles, CA.
       Production notes stated that the Magnascopics buidling, which appeared as partially invisible in the film, was constructed on Stage 16 of Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, CA, using “structural steel cables” to connect “various floating floors of the building” to the six-story structure created by production designer Larry Paull. For special effects, the film was one of the first to employ certain “digital compositing” techniques created by Industrial Light & Magic, which allowed the negative to be digitally scanned and manipulated, then output as a “new negative” from a computer. In addition, filmmakers utilized extensive blue-screen sequences. Chase worked at ILM studios in San Rafael, CA, for two weeks in varying combinations of wardrobe and makeup to achieve the blue screen effects; the actor wore a “blue bodysuit, hood, makeup and special [black] contact lenses” which covered his eyeballs entirely and could only be worn for “15 minutes at a time.” A 30 May 1991 DV article noted that Chase had lost ten pounds for the role, which he took very seriously as a positive step in his career toward playing more substantive characters.
       Unfortunately, critics generally panned the film and, specifically, Chase’s performance. A 2 Mar 1992 Var review accused Chase of only being able to play himself, and cited Industrial Light & Magic’s special effects as providing the film’s “real star power.” Duane Byrge of HR claimed, “the story’s overall gait is flatfooted” and Chase’s character “lack[ed] the hell-raising moxy and foxy resilience to make things interesting.”
       According to a 10 Apr 1992 Toronto Star article, the film had earned only $13 million in box office receipts, making it a decided failure.



The summary and note for this entry were completed with participation from the AFI Academic Network. Summary and note were written by participant Adam Tate, an independent scholar.
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
30 May 1991.
---
Los Angeles Magazine
Aug 1986.
---
Los Angeles Times
20 Jul 1986.
---
Los Angeles Times
28 Feb 1992
Calendar, p. 6
New York Times
28 Feb 1992
p. 17
Toronto Star
10 Apr 1992.
---
Variety
2 Mar 1992
p. 55
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
B cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
B cam asst
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Rigging gaffer
Key grip
2d grip
2d grip
Dolly grip
Cam asst
Filmed in
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Illustrator
Art dept researcher
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set des
Set des
Set des
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Leadman
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Const coord
Const coord, San Francisco
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman, San Francisco
Stand-by painter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Men's cost
Women's cost
Women's cost
MUSIC
Mus ed
SOUND
Prod mixer
Boom op
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Supv ADR ed
ADR ed
Asst ADR ed
Sd eff rec
Sd eff rec
Foley supv
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Visual eff supv
Spec eff coord
Spec eff foreman
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Titles and opticals
Spec visual eff
A Division of LucasArts Entertainment Company, Marin, California
Visual eff prod
Digital eff supv
Key visual eff cam op
Opt photog supv
Visual eff art dir
Computer graphics supv
Matte painting artist
Chief visual eff ed
Visual eff cam op
Visual eff & plate coord
Chief stage tech
Stage tech
Stage tech
Stage tech
Stage tech
Cam asst
Cam asst
Digital eff artist
Digital eff artist
Digital eff artist
Digital eff artist
Digital eff artist
Digital eff artist
Opt cam op
Opt cam op
Opt cam op
Eff cam photog
Visual eff ed
Visual eff ed
Opt line-up
Opt line-up
Opt line-up
Action prop performer
Action prop performer
Engineering services
Engineering services
Visual eff asst
Visual eff asst
Visual eff prod liaison
Matte supv
Miniature const
Thermal imaging hardware
Computer eff supv
Computer graphics
Computer graphics
MAKEUP
Make-up artist
Make-up artist
Hair stylist
Hair stylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting assoc
Scr supv
Animal trainer
Prod coord
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst prod secy
Asst to Mr. Carpenter
Asst to Mr. Chase
Asst to Ms. Hannah
Office asst
Office asst
Prod runner
Prod runner
Loc mgr, San Francisco
Loc mgr, Los Angeles
Asst loc mgr
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Helicopter pilot
First aid
Craft service
Unit pub
Caterer
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
ANIMATION
Anim supv
Modelshop proj supv
Rotoscope supv
Computer graphics anim
Computer graphics anim
Rotoscope artist
Rotoscope artist
Eff anim
Eff anim
Stop motion anim
Chief model maker
Chief model maker
Chief model maker
Conceptual des
Digital/scanning
Digital/Scanning
Digital/Scanning
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Memoirs of an Invisible Man by H. F. Saint (New York, 1987).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
28 February 1992
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 28 February 1992
New York opening: week of 28 February 1992
Production Date:
began 7 March 1991
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Brothers, Inc., Regency Enterprises, V.O.F., Le Studio Canal+
Copyright Date:
26 May 1992
Copyright Number:
PA568255
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo in selected theatres
Color
Technicolor®
Duration(in mins):
99
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Countries:
France, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31601
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Nick Halloway is an invisible man. Government agents scan the streets of San Francisco, looking for any signs of him. He addresses a video camera and proves that he is, in fact, real by chewing gum – its process completely visible as if in a man's mouth. Nick says he’s making the tape because he may be dead in a few hours. He explains that his fiasco started back in March. On a Tuesday in March, Nick's secretary, Cathy, reminds a still-visible Nick of his appointment with Magnascopics just before he heads to his private club for the rest of the evening. At the club, George Talbot sees Nick and invites him to join his table with some mutual friends. At George’s table, Nick meets Alice Monroe, a stunning blonde documentary producer. Nick and Alice immediately have a connection and make plans to meet again later. The next day, Nick arrives at Magnascopics with a terrible hangover. Bored and falling asleep during a presentation, Nick leaves and wanders into the facility's sauna for a short nap. Meanwhile, an employee spills coffee onto an important control board and shorts the large computer system, causing a catastrophic meltdown. The accident leaves portions of the building with invisible molecules, including Nick's entire body. In Washington, D.C., CIA agent David Jenkins testifies before Congress, accused of negligent activity. As agents surround the partially invisible Magnascopics building, Nick awakes, confounded by his new invisible form. He dons a hat, and the agents become aware that a bystander has succumbed to the molecular disaster. In a fit of hysteria, Nick knocks himself unconscious on an invisible surface. Jenkins and other agents place Nick on a ... +


Nick Halloway is an invisible man. Government agents scan the streets of San Francisco, looking for any signs of him. He addresses a video camera and proves that he is, in fact, real by chewing gum – its process completely visible as if in a man's mouth. Nick says he’s making the tape because he may be dead in a few hours. He explains that his fiasco started back in March. On a Tuesday in March, Nick's secretary, Cathy, reminds a still-visible Nick of his appointment with Magnascopics just before he heads to his private club for the rest of the evening. At the club, George Talbot sees Nick and invites him to join his table with some mutual friends. At George’s table, Nick meets Alice Monroe, a stunning blonde documentary producer. Nick and Alice immediately have a connection and make plans to meet again later. The next day, Nick arrives at Magnascopics with a terrible hangover. Bored and falling asleep during a presentation, Nick leaves and wanders into the facility's sauna for a short nap. Meanwhile, an employee spills coffee onto an important control board and shorts the large computer system, causing a catastrophic meltdown. The accident leaves portions of the building with invisible molecules, including Nick's entire body. In Washington, D.C., CIA agent David Jenkins testifies before Congress, accused of negligent activity. As agents surround the partially invisible Magnascopics building, Nick awakes, confounded by his new invisible form. He dons a hat, and the agents become aware that a bystander has succumbed to the molecular disaster. In a fit of hysteria, Nick knocks himself unconscious on an invisible surface. Jenkins and other agents place Nick on a gurney and attempt to take him into their lab for tests. Nick awakens and jumps off the gurney. Suspicious of the agents, Nick demands to call his lawyer. Before the agents can recapture him, the entire Magnascopics building fluxes and becomes completely invisible. On the run, Nick spots an intoxicated man and knocks him out. He uses the unconscious man as a puppet to hail a cab back to San Francisco. At his apartment, Nick tries to clear his head and assess the situation. Meanwhile, CIA agent Warren Singleton and Jenkins argue about the methods to be used in searching for Nick. Jenkins wants to keep Nick's identity secret and possibly use him for clandestine operations. Nick orders take-out and discovers that his digestive system is visible after eating. Nick calls in sick to work. He then listens to the messages on his answering machine at home, including a call from Alice, reminding him of their plans for lunch. Jenkins has also left a message, and Nick realizes that he must be close. Agents swarm Nick's apartment building, using infrared technology to spot him. Nick once again escapes. As he wanders the streets of San Francisco, Nick realizes his complete isolation. He sneaks into his private club for a safe sleeping quarters. The next day, Nick approaches Dr. Bernard Wachs from Magnascopic on the street. Wearing a disguise, Nick demands that he be changed back to visible form, but Wachs admits he does not have the technology. Wachs wants Nick to subject himself to scientific studies. Just then, Nick spots the agents on his trail and runs away, shedding his disguise. Meanwhile, Alice waits for Nick at the agreed upon restaurant, but he does not arrive. She calls Nick's office and the agents are monitoring. Agents interrogate Wachs and administer a lethal injection so the doctor cannot share the information of Nick's existence. That night, Nick sleeps at his club. He dreams of a life of success and romance with Alice, but the dream becomes a nightmare when he discovers that his crotch is invisible. Nick decides to sneak into Jenkins’ office, looking for information that he can use to his advantage. Unfortunately, Jenkins arrives and prevents Nick from leaving. Eventually, Nick gives away his presence when he yawns, and Jenkins offers him a position with the agency if he stops running. Nick does not wish to be held captive. He holds Jenkins at gunpoint and escapes into the streets. Nick decides to take respite in George's beach house. He orders clear foods to avoid seeing his digestion. Nick enjoys himself quite well until George and his guests, including Alice, suddenly arrive for a vacation. They are curious as to who has occupied the house in their absence, but George soon deduces that it must have been Nick. That night, they discuss Nick's disappearance and ponder whether or not he killed himself. Later, Richard attempts to take advantage of Alice in her bedroom, but she sends him away. As he watches Alice sleep, Nick realizes that he loves her. The next day, he takes refuge in an adjacent beach house, then calls Alice and begs her to meet him there. He reveals to her his invisibility. Meanwhile, Singleton and Jenkins argue about Jenkins’ failure to capture Nick. Angry, Jenkins threatens violence if anyone interferes with his investigation. Alice becomes Nick's ally. She shares food from George's kitchen. The next day, George and his other guests leave, but Alice remains at the house with Nick. From his office, George calls a friend and gossips about Nick's respite at his beach house. The agents monitoring George’s call quickly pursue. At the beach house, Alice applies makeup to Nick's face. Disguised in makeup, a wig, and goggles, Nick goes to a restaurant with Alice. Later, Jenkins and his men surround the beach house, but Nick and Alice manage to flee. Alice purchases two train tickets so they can head to San Diego and later, Mexico. It begins to rain, and Nick's body is visible from the moisture. After they spend the night together at a motel, Nick and Alice board a private compartment on the train. Nick admits that Mexico does not seem remote enough, and suggests that he and Alice travel to Switzerland, where he can wear a ski mask year round. Jenkins and his agents discover that Nick and Alice are aboard the train and catch up via helicopter. They capture Alice, and she calls out to Nick, prompting him to jump from the train. Later, in Jenkins’ office, Nick’s videotape plays. On it, Nick explains to Jenkins that he will surrender himself as long as he releases Alice. Nick then calls from a payphone outside Jenkins’ office and promises to comply after he sees Alice put into a cab. Singleton arrives, livid about Jenkins' holding Alice, and alerts him that any further action will result in dismissal from the agency. Ignoring Singleton, Jenkins allows Alice to leave in a cab and surrounds Nick by the phone. However, it is not Nick, but George disguised in bandages. Meanwhile, Nick drives Alice away in the cab. Jenkins chases the cab and disables it, then chases Nick to a construction site. Washing his face in a passing street cleaner, Nick gets wet and accidentally catches dust on his coat. Able to see the dust, Jenkins follows Nick to the roof of a building under construction. Nick pretends to be suicidal, and Jenkins attempts to coax him from the ledge. Nick lures Jenkins to a faulty board at the edge of the building by dangling his coat, causing Jenkins to fall to the street. Singleton tells Alice to leave the crime scene and to keep the situation secret. Some time later, Nick skis down a mountain to a Swiss chalet, where Alice, now pregnant, greets him with a kiss.






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Legend
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Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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