Monday, December 4, 2017

The Amazing Transparent Man - 1960

Okay, so I guessed way off on the year to this movie.  This is very old looking, and the effects could have been done in the 40's (which is what I guessed) so I guess maybe that's a small disparagement to this movie.  However, I did actually like this movie....so... Well yeah.

The Amazing Transparent Man was not the first movie to attempt or be about an invisible man.  HG Wells Invisible Man came out in 1933, and there had been other films since then to dabble in the genre.  This particular invisible man is sort of a combination between a Frankenstein construct and the invisible dude idea.

Dr. Peter Ulof is a German scientist brought to the US and forced to do invisible experimentation because evil man Paul Krenner is holding Ulof's wife hostage.  Thus, Ulof begins experimenting on escaped criminal Joey.  Joey is your average sort of antihero, I'd say well written and well acted.  His motivations are explained and he's given time to show that he is in fact not a thoroughly good or evil guy.  He seems like the type who mostly wants to be good, but has bad leanings.  Paul also has the beautiful Laura, as well as Julian who act as his security to make sure Ulof and Joey do as they're supposed to.

The experiment begins.  We watch in awe as a guinea pig is turned invisible in front of our eyes, and soon enough Joey is going to be turned invisible so that he can begin running thefts from various banks. Joey goes to a huge bank vault and robs the money.  Soon enough though, the guinea pig dies, and maybe Joey has been pushed to the point where he has radiation sickness, and also maybe the invisibility will begin to wear off...

I liked this movie.  It was not even an hour long, and moves at a fantastic pace.  It is never dull.  Also the effects and the acting, and the dialogue are all pretty good.  It doesn't swing for the fences by any means, and it's accessible, but it also doesn't scrape the bottom of the barrel by any means.  I will say that being only 57 minutes it did feel like I have to wonder.... Does this even qualify as a full movie?  It was 1960, most films at this point were not this short.  Even horror monster movies in the 50's were usually around the 90 minute mark.  So it's an odd idea to think of, and I'm not too sure what to think of this.

But I won't worry about it too much.  I'm just happy that on my Strange Tales boxset, there was finally a movie I liked and felt classic in all the good ways.  Still it wasn't like a great film by any means.  I give it an above-average 3.5 stars.

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