Invisible Stripes (1939)

Approved   |    |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Invisible Stripes (1939) Poster

An ex-con who wants to go straight has difficulties trying to reintegrate into society while on parole.


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1 May 2015 | utgard14
| "I'm one of them there realists."
George Raft and Humphrey Bogart play two parolees who take different paths when they leave prison. Bogie immediately goes back to a life of crime while Raft tries to go straight. But fearing that his younger brother (a baby-faced William Holden) might follow in his footsteps if he can't get a break, Raft turns back to a life of crime.

Solid gangster picture from WB with a good cast. George Raft doesn't always get respect but he shows in this and other films that he was a decent actor. Young William Holden is a little melodramatic here. He still had room to improve. Lovely Jane Bryan is his girlfriend. This was the penultimate movie in her all-too-brief career. Humphrey Bogart plays yet another of his many gangster roles. He may not have been enjoying playing these parts much at this point of his career but he really was perfectly suited for them. He really steals the film from his co-stars. Flora Robson, Paul Kelly, and Henry O'Neill are among the other fine actors in the cast. Leo Gorcey has a small but amusing part. WB had such a strong stable of talent in their crime dramas of the '30s and '40s.

This is in many ways a predictable movie for WB that follows a formula I've seen in many gangster movies. The actors play roles they're very comfortable with, most of them having played similar parts before. But that doesn't mean it isn't entertaining. It's very enjoyable for someone like me, who likes not only the genre but the specific way Warner produced these films at the time. They were the go-to studio for urban dramas then and they made many classics that defined these types of stories to this day. This is a good one most fans of Bogart, Raft, and old gangster flicks will like.

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$500,000 (estimated)

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