Sunday, January 25, 2015

Invisible Stripes (1939)

Director: Lloyd Bacon

Writers: Warren Duff, Jonathan Finn. Lewis E. Lawes

Composer: Heinz Roemheld

Starring: George Raft, Jane Bryan, William Holden, Humphrey Bogart, Flora Robson, Paul Kelly, Lee Patrick, Henry O'Neill, Frankie Thomas, Moroni Olsen, Margot Stevenson, Marc Lawrence

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Three Men and a Girl... Bound by Invisible Ties - Branded by Invisible Stripes

Plot: An ex-con who wants to go straight has difficulties trying to reintegrate into society while on parole.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Probably.

Man was it tough for felons in the 30s.  Cliff (Raft) couldn't get a break for nothin'.  He wasn't even allowed to own a car and then some. It was rough seeing him on the skids.  Interesting note, the woman who plays his mother, Flora Robson, was only 7 years older than he was.  She's got a rough enough face that they had her looking older but still.  Funny stuff that Hollywood joint.  Bogart's playing the same type of criminal roles he'd gotten used to that decade but something changed with the actor.  He's a lot more comfortable.  Before he played these one-note characters in such an over the top fashion that he'd sometimes come across as a bad, middle of the road actor.  Anyway, it was nice seeing him more grown up as an actor, like the star he became right around the corner.  There's no mistaking that Marc Lawrence.  Man, what a mug on that guy.  My friend had to point out that Cliff's brother, Tim, was played by William Holden.  I went through almost the entire picture not recognize him.  Boy was he young.  Geez.  Because this is a crime picture of this era you kind of know how it's going to end.  And it does.  The Warner Bros. DVD is loaded with extras including a commentary track by Alain silver and James Ursini, the theatrical trailer and a plethora of goodies with their Warner Night at the Movies which has a trailer for YOU CAN'T GET AWAY WITH MURDER, a newsreel, a 15 minute film called THE MONROE DOCTRINE, another short called MR. & MRS. JESSE CRAWFORD AT HOME, another 18 minute short called QUIET, PLEASE, a prison-themed cartoon called BARS AND STRIPES FOREVER and an early Bugs Bunny cartoon called HARE-UM SCARE-UM.  It's a great disc. 

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