Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951)

Passed   |    |  Comedy, Sci-Fi, Sport


Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951) Poster

Two bumbling private eyes help a man wrongly accused of murder who has become invisible to help clear his name.


6.8/10
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26 January 2012 | dougdoepke
One Way of Looking at the "A&C Meet..." Series
To me, this is arguably the best of the "A&C Meet…" series. The boys get mixed up with a prizefighter accused of murder who escapes the cops and gangsters by turning invisible with the help of an experimental serum. Naturally, this leads to an array of amusing hijinks.

The comic potential here is greater than in other A&C monster entries (…Meet Frankenstein; … Meet the Mummy; etc.) because the menace here has the power of invisibility. That means the menace can challenge the boys in public without the public knowing it. On the other hand, the other monsters can't mix in public without being seen which narrows the comic potential to haunted houses or other non-public spaces.

For example, take the punching bag scene. It looks like Lou (Costello) has lightning speed rocking the bag when in reality it's the invisible boxer Tommy (Franz) who's doing it. There're a number of set-ups like this where the public is astonished by Lou's apparent powers, while actor Costello milks the comic potential.

That's not to say the other monster entries are not funny to varying degrees. But the monsters are restricted in these movies to scaring everyone in over-the-top fashion, whereas being invisible greatly expands the possibilities, such as the nightclub scene with the poor flummoxed waiter (Syd Saylor) who can't figure out who's doing what.

Anyway, the movie's consistently amusing and inventive. However, I wish we saw more of that great flashy blonde Adele Jergens (Marsden) and that great phony gangster Sheldon Leonard (Morgan). Seeing them together here resembles a match made in some cheap nightclub heaven. All in all, this is one of my A&C favorites among their many comedies.

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