6.8/10
1,252
31 user 12 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.

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

According to contemporary articles in The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. bought the rights to the book as a vehicle for James Cagney and John Garfield. Humphrey Bogart replaced Cagney so that he could go on vacation, and William Holden was borrowed from Paramount. See more »

Goofs

It is illegal to profit from the proceeds of a crime, even if you are not the criminal. So Tim would not have been able to use the stolen money to become the owner of the garage--an odd oversight on the part of the Hays Code. See more »

Quotes

Chuck Martin: I feel sorry for you. You're gunna have the parole agents on your tail thicker than flies.
Cliff Taylor: They can camp in my pockets if they want.
See more »


Soundtracks

Wedding March
(1842) (uncredited)
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played after the wedding
See more »

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User Reviews

 
OK melodrama that tries hard
18 November 2006 | by ROCKY-19See 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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