Public Domain Movie: Invisible Ghost (1941)

Invisible Ghost: Review

In Invisible Ghost, Bela Lugosi plays Charles Kessler, who lives in a large house with his daughter. Kessler’s wife ran off, some years ago, with another man. Since then each year on their wedding anniversary Kesslar lays on a special meal for his wife and sits paying compliments to her empty chair. He knows, of course that his wife is not present at the table, but it is a kind of ritual with him and he firmly believes that his lost love will return to him one day.

What Kessler does not know is that, on the night that his wife left, her lover crashed the car. She is now a very confused woman and is living in the basement below his garage and is being cared for by the loyal gardener.

There have been a few murders on the Kessler estate. Kessler, of course, is such a prominent citizen that he is above suspicion, but maybe his wife knows about another side to him. Maybe she knows who the murderer is too.

Someone who very definitely is not the murderer is Ralph Dickson. Ralph is the man that Kessler’s daughter Virginia is in love with. He may not be the murderer but, when the Kessler’s maid is murdered, Ralph is tried and for the crime and then executed.

Invisible Ghost is quite a good film, but it is hard to take it seriously. Especially when Kessler goes into a strange trance-like state and starts wandering around with his hands out in front of him like a deranged sleepwalker. Whenever this happens it is more amusing than terrifying, but the film is worth a watch and when Kessler is not walking his strange walk he is quite the doting father and a really nice guy to boot. It makes a pleasant change to see Lugosi given the chance to show a warmer side.


Additional Information

Director: Joseph H. Lewis

Cast

Bela Lugosi … Charles Kessler
Polly Ann Young … Virginia Kessler
John McGuire … Ralph/Paul Dickson
Clarence Muse … Evans the Butler

Terry Walker … Cecile Mannix
Betty Compson … Mrs. Kessler

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