17 November 2006 | JohnHowardReid
Barrymore meets Bruce
Agreeably played for low farce by a most accomplished cast led by those supreme farceurs Charlie Ruggles (who has all the best lines) and John Barrymore (who just manages to snare all the best "business" from Ruggleswho gives him a great run for his money), The Invisible Woman is smoothly directed with lots of great visual effects for those who dote on this sort of thing. Adding to the fun, Charles Lane has a colorful role which he makes the most of, but Maria Montez is along purely for decorative value as part of an eye-appealingly feminine crowd and doesn't have a single line, alas. Not one! It's the lovely Virginia Bruce who makes all the running, while John Howard stands on the sidelines, looking nice and stylish as the straight man. Comic gangster Oscar Homolka and other players do a few turns with three stooges (Shemp Howard, Ed Brophy and Donald MacBride), but the film's funniest scenes occur in the middle section of the movie when the invisible Virgina tangles with the irascible Lane.