6.8/10
1,128
27 user 10 critic

Invisible Stripes (1939)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 30 December 1939 (USA)
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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Cliff Taylor
... Peggy
... Tim Taylor
... Chuck Martin
... Mrs. Taylor
... Ed Kruger
... Molly
... Parole Officer Masters
... Tommy
... The Warden
... Sue
... Lefty
Joe Downing ... Johnny (as Joseph Downing)
... Jimmy
... 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 | parole | police | toolbox | See All (54) »

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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$114,000, 24 February 1940
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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 the new cons] The longer the term, the more good time they gotta give yuh.
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Soundtracks

All in Favor Say 'Aye'
(1939) (uncredited)
Music by Cliff Friend
Played at the party
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User Reviews

 
OK melodrama that tries hard
18 November 2006 | by 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.


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