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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 822 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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(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:
...
...
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

It's a last film by "First National" productions were actually made under Warner Bros. control, even though the two companies continued to retain separate identities until the mid-1930's, pre-1960 after which time "A Warner Bros.-First National Picture". 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

Old Peter: [to Chuck and Clint as they are leaving] Have a good time, boys, but don't stay away too long.
Cliff Taylor: So long, Peter.
Old Peter: You'll be back. You'll be back.
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

 
Programmer with some bright spots
29 August 2005 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

"Invisible Stripes" was based on a book by the same former prison warden responsible for the (far better) "20,000 Years in Sing Sing." Casting really does matter.

George Raft turns in a characteristically wooden performance as the ex-con trying to go straight in a world stacked against him. It really is heart-breaking to watch the different ways he loses jobs, unable to shake the shadow of the "invisible stripes" that cover any convict. The strictures on parolees in the 1930s, if accurately depicted, *do* seem a little on the strong side--they weren't even allowed to have drivers licenses! Raft is paired with, in the accurate words of another reviewer, an "unrecognizably young" William Holden. Flora Robson, who plays their mother, was actually six years younger than Raft at the time of shooting. Jane Bryan is convincing and touching as Holden's long-time fiancée.

Bogart spices up the story considerably, in a performance that may have been routine on the page but which comes fully to life in his hands. The film was originally to have been cast with Jimmy Cagney and John Garfield, but Bogart replaced Cagney in order to give him a vacation. I can't help but wonder how much better the film would have been with Garfield in the Raft role. Raft may have known the gang life inside out, but he couldn't act his way out of a paper bag.


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