The Amazing Transparent Man (February 24, 1960)
Released February 24, 1960: A mad scientist creates a formula that makes people invisible, and plans to take over the world with an army of invisible fighters.
Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer
Written by Jack Lewis.
The Actors: Marguerite Chapman (Laura Matson), Douglas Kennedy (Joey Faust), James Griffith (Major Paul Krenner), Ivan Triesault (Dr. Peter Ulof), Boyd 'Red' Morgan (Julian), Cormel Daniel (Maria Ulof), Edward Erwin (Drake), Jonathan Ledford (Smith), Norman Smith (security guard), Patrick Cranshaw (security guard), Kevin Kelly (woman), Dennis Adams (State Policeman), Stacy Morgan (State Policeman).
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This classic science fiction movie is one of the best of the 1960's, combining the noir crime thrillers of the 1940's with the 'modern' atomic science of the 1960's. Joey is a bank robber doing time in the state pen, and as the movie opens, a pretty lady arranges for his escape, and delivers him to Major Paul Krenner. The Major has kidnapped an atomic scientist, and is holding his daughter hostage to force him to work for the Major. This scientist has developed a formula to make living things invisible, and the tests on a guinea pig seem to work marvelously. The Major plans to turn an army of men invisible so he can take over the world. Joey is a safe cracker, and the Major needs a good safe cracker to get into the nuclear storepiles of the United States to get more nuclear materials for his formula. Joey has more crime in his blood than allegiance to the Major, and he wants to use his invisibility to rob banks and rack up the casth
The first night Joey is held in a locked room overnight, but even though the tough guy guarding him with a shotgun is right outside his door, Joey manages to get out of his room and into the room of the gal that helped him escape. He tries to convince her to team up with him instead of the Major and rob banks and live the good life. She seems to almost be convinced, but the guard breaks in and she tells the guard that she was only pretending to agree with him to avoid trouble. But even the guard seems willing to betray the Major - it seems that the 'crime' in these folks is much more prominent than the loyalty to the 'mad science' angle. The next day when Joey is given the treatment, he immediately becomes invisible. Instead of waiting for instructions from the Major, he gets off of the lab table and walks around the room, invisible to the Major, the scientist and the gal. While they are trying to find him, he grabs the gal and kisses her, then walks over to the Major and starts to strangle him. He makes the Major aware that he is more important than to get $1,000 for each 'job' that he does, and blackmails the Major for more money. The Major must agree, and now we have a full cast of amoral criminals, each out for his own purposes.
That night Joey walks undetected into the heart of the U.S. nuclear storage facility and cracks a large bank-style safe door and walks away with some new 'X-13' nuclear material that the mad scientist needs to further his experiments. The next day Joey and the gal go into town, and with Joey still invisible, he walks into a bank and grabs the money from the teller's drawers while everyone watches in amazement and wonder at what is happening. But suddenly, as he is leaving, his head becomes visible for a moment! He rushes out to the car, and is totally invisible again, and they drive away. Certainly something is happening that may mess up Joey's plans. His invisibility may be wearing off or something. But then while totally visible and talking about it with the gal, he becomes invisible again at will. Now, just an aside - when you are watching this movie, you must remember that all movies are fiction, with very little resemblence to reality. So don't try to analyze the science or the fact that one minute he cannot control his invisibilty and the next moment he can. Just roll with the plot and imagine like when you were a kid and anything seemed possible.
The plot continues to get complicated and we are sure that things will not end well for most of this cast, but just keep munching your popcorn and enjoying this thriller story for what it is, and I downright guarantee that you will enjoy this hybrid noir crime science fiction tale much more than mowing the lawn or whatever else you would be doing for the next 57 minutes.