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

Saturday, June 14, 2008


THE INVISIBLE AGENT (1942). Director: Edwin L. Marin.

The third in the Invisible Man series (The Invisible Woman was a comedy that did not follow the continuity of the first two films) has the grandson (Jon Hall) of Frank Griffin, the original Invisible Man, living under an assumed name and besieged by Nazi agents who want his grandfather's formula, as does the United States. After the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, Hall uses the formula himself to enter enemy territory and acquire vital information from the Nazi's. Ilona Massey plays a double-agent who helps Hall even though he doesn't quite trust her. Hall and Massey are fine, but the picture certainly benefits from the participation of J. Edward Bromberg and Sir Cedric Hardwicke as Nazi agents, and Peter Lorre as a sinister Japanese baron -- all three gentlemen give outstanding performances despite the nature of the material (Lorre and Hardwicke each brilliantly underplay a final encounter).

Verdict: The Invisible Agent is a competent B thriller with some excellent effects work courtesy of, as usual, John P. Fulton. **1/2.

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