- Ax 2013
Frank Lloyd, George Waggner (associate) for Frank Lloyd Productions, Universal
directed by Edwin L.Marin
starring Ilona Massey, Jon Hall, Peter Lorre, Cedric Hardwicke, J.Edward Bromberg, Albert Bassermann, John Litel, Holmes Herbert, Keye Luke, Mabel Colcord, Michael Visaroff, Wolfgang Zilzer, Henry Zynda, Sven Hugo Borg, Eddie Dunn, Lee Tung Foo, Lane Chandler, Donald Curtis, Leslie Denison, Martin Faust, Matt Willis, John Holland, Ferdinand Munier, Eddie Parker, Pat West
screenplay by Curt Siodmak, very loosely based on The Invisible Man by H.G.Wells, music by Hans J.Salter, special photographic effects by John P.Fulton, special effects by David S.Horsley
The Invisible Man, Universal's Invisible Man, Universal horror cycle, American World War II Propaganda
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Frank Raymond (Jon Hall) is the grandson of the original Invisible
Man, but by and large he'd like to forget that part of family
history - but now it's war, and the USA could use an invisible man ... and
since Frank doesn't want to give away his grandfather's invention, he
agrees to turn himself invisible and go to Germany to spy out the Nazi's
plans for an attack on the USA.
In Germany, he meets beautiful spy Maria (Ilona Massey), gets caught up
in a fight over her and over power between Colonels Stauffer (Cedric
Hardwicke) and Heisel (J.Edward Bromberg), gets captured by the Japanese
led by Baron Ikito (Peter Lorre), and gets into a power struggle between
the Germans and the Japanese - at the end of which the Baron commits
harakiri. All this makes Frank lose trust in Maria whom he soon believes
to be a double agent, but still he forces her to fly him out of Germany
and help him bomb the fighter planes that are supposed to bomb New York
the very next day. It is only when Maria saves his life once they are in
British airspace that he sees that she really fights on his side, and in
the end, Frank consequently doesn't only become visible again, he also
gets the girl ...
Stupid and rather childish little propaganda film that is very far
removed from H.G.Wells' insightful original and turns its hero's
invisiblity into nothing more than a gimmick. Silly ... but not all that
Oh, and a word about casting: why it was thought to be a good idea to
cast Peter Lorre, a gifted actor with a strong German accent, as a
Japanese - in a film about Germans - is left at anybody's guess ...
review © by Mike Haberfelner
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