Frank Raymond, grandson of the original Invisible Man, still has the old formula but considers it too dangerous to use, even when Axis agents try to get it. But Pearl Harbor brings him to volunteer his own services as an invisible agent in Germany. Though a bit cold (clothes aren't invisible), his adventures are more comedy than thriller (with occasional grim reminders) as he makes fools of Nazi officials and romances a luscious double agent, in search of Hitler's secret plan...Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the opening scene, a newsboy shouts the headline, "Extra! Oregon State Invites Duke to Rose Bowl." The 1942 movie audience would recognize the opening scenes in the movie as taking place in the previous year, just *before* the Pearl Harbor attack. The 1942 Rose Bowl was especially memorable to movie audiences because it was the only game in Rose Bowl history that was not played in Pasadena, California. Following the U.S. entry into the war, it was feared that the Pasadena game would be an ideal target for the Japanese, so the game was played at Duke University in North Carolina. On January 1, 1942, Oregon State defeated Duke University, by a score of 20-16. See more »
Wires are plainly visible on a number of objects, particularly the chicken leg and the key. See more »
Extra! "Oregon State Invites Duke to Rose Bowl." Extra! Late edition! "Oregon State Invites Duke to Rose Bowl."
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Jon Hall plays Frank Raymond, the grandson of the Invisible Man, who has changed his name from Griffin to Raymond and runs a print shop in hopes of avoiding people looking for his grandfather's formula for invisibility. When Axis agents led by the nefarious duo of Stauffer (Cedric Hardwicke) and Ikito (Peter Lorre) show up and threaten Raymond, he decides to become the Invisible Man and spy for the Allies.
The least of Universal's Invisible Man films but still enjoyable. The continuity's a little sloppy. Frank is said to be the grandson of the original Invisible Man, also named Frank Griffin. But the original was named Jack. It was his brother from The Invisible Man Returns that was named Frank. Plus the original Invisible Man died without kids, unless we're to believe his fiancée in the first movie was pregnant. Anyway, it's probably best to assume Frank Griffin took credit for his brother's discovery...or, you know, don't bother explaining it at all because it's really not that important.
Hall is fine but his character can be irritating at times. The film's worst scene is where he pranks Nazi Karl Heiser (J. Edward Bromberg). The whole scene is a juvenile attempt at laughs that fails badly. Bromberg's character is a perfect example of the movie's main flaw: the out of place comedy within the darker wartime plot. For the most part, Heiser is a joke and treated like Schultz from Hogan's Heroes. But then there are scenes where his darker side comes through that makes the comedy parts a poor fit. Ilona Massey looks great but her character seems to exist just to fall for Hall, even though he treats her pretty crappy. The climax of the movie plays like an action serial with the Nazis pursuing Hall and Massey as they try to escape by plane. What happens next I won't spoil but it's unintentionally silly.
Two characters that actually do work are the evil Stauffer and Ikito, played by Cedric Hardwicke and Peter Lorre. These two are the best part of the film, providing a real menace to the hero. Lorre's Ikito is an especially evil character. He begins the film by threatening to chop Frank's fingers off and later ingeniously (and sadistically) catches him with a net lined with fish hooks! These great actors own every scene they're in and it's worth seeing the movie just for them.
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