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Invisible Stripes (1939)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 763 users  
Reviews: 18 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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(screen play), (from a story by), 1 more credit »
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Title: Invisible Stripes (1939)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Cliff Taylor
...
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
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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

Although Flora Robson played George Raft's mother, she was actually six years younger than he was. See more »

Goofs

When Tim is wheeling his motorcycle into the back of the garage after taking Chuck to meet his girlfriend, shadows of the police waiting inside are visible on the garage door, ruining the surprise that they are laying in wait for him. See more »

Quotes

Cliff Taylor: What's the matter
Peggy: Nothing.
Cliff Taylor: Oh, you're just crying to make sure you haven't forgotten how.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Sweet Georgia Brown
(1925) (uncredited)
Music by Maceo Pinkard
Second tune played by the band at the dance
See more »

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User Reviews

 
OK melodrama that tries hard
18 November 2006 | by (Arizona) – See all my reviews

This film should have been more interesting with the potential of such a cast. The script tries to be important. Indeed, we again get a "Les Miserables"-themed story of a parolee trying to go straight but finding all of the rules and society's prejudice forcing him back to crime. But Lloyd Bacon's sluggish direction holds everything back and it is never interesting storytelling.

How can a film with George Raft, Humphrey Bogart and William Holden not be compelling? Thank you, Mr. Bacon, for demonstrating. Raft tries hard to be the nice guy but the script gives the character no depth. He could be any ex-con coming home after a stint in Sing Sing. He seems handcuffed throughout. He does believably make a (much) older brother for Holden - the voice, the nose - but he surely can't pass for 27. Holden is so young and enthusiastic and all his acting mechanics are hanging out there for everyone to see. As few as his scenes are, Bogart is a steady if smarmy hand to get the action started.

Flora Robson, as the mother of Raft and Holden, is the most sympathetic character. The actress had a tremendous soul to give weight to what could be a thankless part. Only through her does any real feeling come into this melodrama. And though nearly seven years younger than Raft, just a little age makeup makes her look as if she could at least be his aunt.

It is interesting that the film never shows the cons in actual prison stripes. The only two scenes of Raft and Bogart in prison are in the shower (thank you) and in the warden's office before leaving.

I do like to show this film to friends after they've seen John Ford's "Mary of Scotland" just so they can be amazed at Moroni Olsen's range.


3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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