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The Invisible Woman

USA 1940
produced by
Universal
directed by A. Edward Sutherland
starring Virginia Bruce, John Barrymore, John Howard, Charles Ruggles, Oskar Homolka, Edward Brophy, Donald MacBride, Margaret Hamilton, Shemp Howard, Anne Nagel, Kathryn Adams, Maria Montez, Charles Lande, Mary Gordon, Thurston Hall, Eddie Conrad, Harry C.Bradley, Kitty O'Neil, Sarah Edwards, Kay Linaker
story by Curt Siodmak, Joe May, screenplay by Robert Lees, Frederic I. Rinaldo, Gertrude Purcell, music by Frank Skinner, musical director: Charles Previn, special effects by John P.Fulton

The Invisible Man, Universal's Invisible Man, Universal horror cycle

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Dick Russell (John Howard) was once a rich man, but now all his wealth is gone and his last hope is Professor Gibbs (John Barrymore), a scientist who has just invented a machine to make people invisible - but when he tests his machine on a human, Kitty (Virginia Bruce) for the first time, Miss Kittyn uses her (temporary) invisibility for her own ends and gets back at a tyrannical employer (Charles Lane) rather than stick around and wait for Dick for a demonstration.

Eventually though Professor Gibbs and Kitty do give Dick a demonstration - when they find out that alcohol prolongs the effect of the invisibility machine - but by that time, a gang of gangsters have grown wise to the Professor's machine and steal it, mainly to bring their boss (Oskar Homolka) safely back from Mexico. And when they find one component of the machine is missing, they take the Professor and Kitty (who now is visible again) hostage. But at the gangsters' place, Kitty drinks some alcohol just to become invisible again, and then takes out the baddies one by one before Dick can even arrive to rescue her.

Months later: Dick and Kitty - who have of course over the course of the proceedings fallen in love - have their first baby ... that turns invisible once it's treated with rubbing alcohol ...

Charles Ruggles plays Dick Russell's servant, Shemp Howard one of the (rather incompetent) gangsters.

 

Of course, the concept of invisibility seems to be made for comedy, so it was only a matter of time before Universal threw all the sci-fi and horror stuff out of the Invisible Man series to instead go for straight comedy ... et voilà, here you have The Invisible Woman. Problem is, The Invisible Woman is rather childish and not all that funny, by and large because it seems to invariably go for the cheap joke and seriously lacks original ideas or even good gags. That said, at least the film is well-acted, the actors don't take themselves too seriously, and it's far from being the worst film of the Invisible Man series.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD