6.8/10
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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.

Director:

Lloyd Bacon

Writers:

Warren Duff (screen play), Jonathan Finn (from a story by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Raft ... Cliff Taylor
Jane Bryan ... Peggy
William Holden ... Tim Taylor
Humphrey Bogart ... 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
Marc Lawrence ... Lefty
Joe Downing 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 | 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 December 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hombres marcados See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 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

Chuck Martin: [to Cliff] This is one time we'll fool Old Peter. We won't be back,
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Sweet Georgia Brown
(1925) (uncredited)
Music by Maceo Pinkard and Ben Bernie
Second tune played by the band at the dance
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 secondtakeSee 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!


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