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Invisible Stripes (1939)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  30 December 1939 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 824 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 7 critic

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

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Writers:

(screen play), (from a story by), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Peggy
...
Tim Taylor
...
Chuck Martin
Flora Robson ...
Mrs. Taylor
Paul Kelly ...
Ed Kruger
Lee Patrick ...
Molly
Henry O'Neill ...
Parole Officer Masters
Frankie Thomas ...
Tommy
Moroni Olsen ...
The Warden
Margot Stevenson ...
Sue
...
Lefty
Joe Downing ...
Johnny (as Joseph Downing)
Leo Gorcey ...
Jimmy
William Haade ...
Shrank
Edit

Storyline

Cliff and Chuck leave prison together. Cliff tries the straight life but falls back into crime with Chuck and his gang. When he makes enough to enable his brother Tim to buy a garage and marry his sweetheart, Cliff quits crime again. But when he tries to help Chuck later on, he's implicated again. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

garage | prison | ex con | parole | police | See All (55) »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 December 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hombres marcados  »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to William Holden, during the fight scene between the brothers, Holden accidentally hit George Raft in the eye with his head and opened a gash. See more »

Goofs

When George Raft Goes into William Holden's room for a fight, he is wearing arm bands with his shirtsleeves pulled down over them. Then they disappear, and return in another shot in the same scene. See more »

Quotes

Old Peter: [to the new cons] The longer the term, the more good time they gotta give yuh.
See more »

Connections

References You Can't Get Away with Murder (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

It Had to Be You
(1924) (uncredited)
Music by Isham Jones
Played at the cafe after the bank robbery
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well made, well acted, with a solid well-meant story about justice and reform
23 June 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Invisible Stripes (1939)

Both a crime movie and a message movie, a Warner Bros. look at two convicts released at the same time each trying to go back to some life outside of jail. It's interesting, and well done of course (it's 1939 after all), and stars George Raft who holds his own in his stiff, sincere way. More curious for sure is the secondary role by the up and coming Humphrey Bogart, still a couple years from his breakthrough movies. And then maybe most astonishing to see is a very young William Holden (I didn't even recognize him) in his second credited role.

It's Raft who plays the good guy, almost too good to believe for a guy who did years of jail time, but the idea is that he's learned his lesson and he's going straight. Even with his edgy little brother itching to be a criminal himself. They have for a mom the dependable Flora Robson who is filled with such worldly pathos you can't help but feel for her. The girlfriend here is the really convincing Jane Bryan, who had a short career with mostly stereotyped roles but she exudes true innocent sweetness on screen (she appeared in lots of great Warner films of the late thirties, including "Each Dawn I Die).

And Bogart here plays the bad guy, the ex-con who is going to jump right into his old ways. We don't see much of him for most of the movie, except a couple scenes to show his girlfriend with hair of "gold" and his crooked gang of friends. But of course the two worlds—nice family with two troubled sons and loner man with his thugs—re- collide. Temptations of easy money, a seeming sense of poverty, and several kinds of loyalty (to a brother, to a friend, to a lover) all play together there and the last half of the movie is top notch stuff.

The message part of the movie is simple but important, and as usual has Warner Bros pointing to some problems in society from a generally liberal point of view. That is, an ex-con deserves an honest shake because the system is stacked against him. It works. When the sign lights up at the end and it says "bros" up there (just like Warner Bros), you feel all the ramifications of that built up through the story.

There are enough clichés here, and few little moments that seem a bit rushed or choppy (including the sudden change in attitude of the Holden character) you might not find this to be a classic. But it's really good. See it!


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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