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The Amazing Transparent Man (1960)

Public Domain: The Amazing Transparent Man (1960)

Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer

Joey Faust, an expert safecracker, escapes from prison with the help of ex-army Major, Paul Krenner, who wants Joey to steal some radium for him.  The Major needs the radium to power an invisibility ray and plans to create an invisible army.  Invisible soldiers would not only be a very useful commodity, they would be a very valuable one that he could sell to the highest bidder.

Krenner already has a functioning invisibility ray, but he needs a lot more radium before he can use it to create an army. He has enough radium though to make one invisible man intends to so with Joey before sending him to steal the radium. So far the ray has only been used on animals and Joey will be his first human subject.

The Major's real speciality in life appears to be pushing other people about and he has only managed to construct the ray by kidnapping the daughter of a brilliant scientist (Dr Uloff) and keeping her prisoner. As long as he has daddy's girl daddy has to do as he is told, with no questions asked, which is worrying because the ray is not as safe as Krenner claims it to be. As you can probably tell Major Krenner is a major pain in the ass.

After being threatened by the Major, a reluctant Joey allows himself to be turned invisible and steals some radium, but not before he has given the Major a much needed roughing up -- nothing over the top, just enough to let the pain in the ass to know that he isn't calling all of the shots.

The Major needs a lot of radium, much more than Joey can steal in just one trip, and so he sends his invisible man out for a second time. This time Joey double-crosses the Major, though, and instead of going after more radium he robs a bank instead (old habits just die hard I suppose). Unfortunately for Joey, this time his invisibility isn't as stable as on his previous outing and, loot in hand, he puts in an appearance a bit at a time. By the time he gets to his getaway vehicle he is totally visible and in deep trouble with the Major.

The Amazing Transparent Man is quite a basic story and it's not exactly high in suspense, but it is quite amusing in places and some of the special effects are very good for a film that was made in 1960—especially the scenes where Joey is made invisible and then reappears. With a runtime that falls a few minutes short of an hour, the film is not long enough to get boring either, so it makes a fine addition to anyone's collection of public domain movies.


 Douglas Kennedy      ...  Joey Faust
 James Griffith           ...  Maj. Paul Krenner
 Marguerite Chapman ...  Laura Matson

 Ivan Triesault           ...  Dr. Peter Ulof
 Boyd 'Red' Morgan   ...  Julian
 Carmel Daniel           ...  Maria Ulof
 Edward Erwin           ...  Drake
 Jonathan Ledford      ...  Smith
 Norman Smith          ...  Security guard
 Patrick Cranshaw      ...  Security guard
 Kevin Kelly              ...  Woman
 Dennis Adams          ...  State Police officer
 Stacy Morgan           ...  State Police officer

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