Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


THE INVISIBLE KILLER (1939). Director: Sam Newfield.

Lt. Jerry Brown (Roland Drew) and his partner, Pat (William Newell) are called in when a gambler takes a hit from a bullet -- but the gunshot isn't the cause of death. There are other murders as well, and hot on the trail is gal reporter Sue Walker (Grace Bradley), who happens to be engaged to Brown. Other characters include Cunningham (Boyd Irwin), who hates gambling and is horrified to learn that many of the buildings he owns have become gambling dens without his knowledge; his daughter, Gloria (Jean Brooks), whom Sue helps out of more than one jam; District Attorney Sutton (Crane Whitley); and businessman Arthur Enslee (Alex Callam). As the bickering romantic couple, Drew and Bradley are acceptable, personable leads for this cheap PRC release with a no-name cast. Jean Brooks [herein billed as "Jeanne Kelly"] probably made more of an impression in Val Lewton's The Seventh Victim and The Leopard Man but she's fine in this. The Invisible Killer moves fairly fast but works up almost zero suspense as to the identity of the killer or killers.

Verdict: A short programmer you can easily miss. **.

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