THE AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN

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The Amazing Transparent Man Cover Now imagine you can look at me without me being able to look at you, and then you'd have a pretty good idea what the premise behind this film is all about. Yeah. This film. One Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer; and Starring: Marguerite Chapman, Douglas Kennedy, with James Griffith. It was made in 1960, and lasted for 57 minutes.


The Amazing Transparent Man


THE STORY:
Alright, guys and gal, gather round, so I can tell you what I want you all to do.

You, Laura Matson (Marguerite Chapman), I want you to help Joey Faust (Douglas Kennedy) escape from prison, and then drive him back to my place. You, Dr. Peter Ulof (Ivan Triesault), I want you to stop moaning about how I've kidnapped your daughter, and concentrate on showing our escaped convict how you will turn him invisible with the use of a guinea pig. And you, nondescript henchman with a shotgun and a moustache, I want you to keep an eye on Joey, just in case he tries to esca.... THUNK!

Huh? What's that sound? Come on. One of you tell me what the hell is going on! I'm your boss, God damn it! Me, Major Paul Krenner (James Griffith)! I'm the man with the big ideas which will earn every singe one of us a lot of cash if they play out properly!

Oh! Nothings wrong? Ah-ha. Thank God for that! For a moment there I suspected Joey was going to do a runner! But then again, that's most probably why what next transpires doesn't necessarily go according to plan. As the first heist goes OK - an X-ray machine shouldn't sell well on ebay - a scientist whimpers about his daughter - and at the end of the day an adventure ends not in the way it ought to.




THE REVIEW:
Now to be absolutely honest with you, dear reader, I wasn't expecting very much when I first sat down and watched, 'The Astonishing Invisible Man'. I thought to myself 'Well, the title sound's cr*p, plus I've never heard of some of the cast before, so it'd probably be one of those films I'd scoff at half way through'.

Marguerite ChapmanBut I didn't you know. Honestly I didn't. At best it's the type of movie that showed a lot of promise the more I watched it, yet at the very same time lacked both substance and style.

You see, on the one hand, the story-line was pretty straightforward to follow. Whilst, on the other hand, all the characters were pretty one-dimensional in tone, plus the special effects on offer were rather naff to say the least. Furthermore, I felt that it was half a film too. Cause it ended when things were starting to look very-very good.

I mean, it was as if I was watching a set-up for a gala adventure full of crime, drama, and all of that sort of thing. However, once the premise was put in place, and that whole 'Invisible man / robber' scenario was finally on its way, the whole damn tale stopped dead in its tracks. Boom! Finito. Ending with the scientist guy posing a pertinent question to the camera that I thought was a somewhat enigmatic note to end on.


The Amazing Transparent Man Movie Poster


The Amazing Transparent Man Film Poster
Anyway. Let's hold it right there for the moment, shall we? As this sounds like a good time for some filmic-facts. (1) 'American International Pictures' first released this production on the same month a riot broke out during the 'Newport Jazz Festival' -- July, 1960. (2) Loosely translated, this project was entitled 'Astonishingly Transparent Man' in Poland; 'The Incredible Invisible Man' in France, and was originally given the working title, 'Search for a Shadow'. (3) Apart from those scenes shot at 'United National Studios', the rest of this flick was shot on location in the Berkshires, Massachusetts, plus the USA Fair Park, Dallas, Texas. (4) I kid you not; Edgar G. Ulmer shot this movie back-to-back with another one of his sci-fi flicks, 'Beyond the Time Barrier', within just two weeks. (5) Footage from this feature can be seen in the 1985 documentary, 'AIP: Fast and Furious', the 1992 TV-movie, 'Trailer Cinema', and within an episode of 1995's 'Mystery Science Theater 3000'. (6) Not only was this Marguerite Chapman's final film appearance, but it was also Edgar Ulmer's final American film too. (7) Jack Lewis, who devised the screenplay for this picture, was once a stuntman, an actor, a musical editor on 'What's Up, Tiger Lily?', as well as devising other such... coff-coff... 'classics', as 'Billy the Kid vs. Dracula'. (8) After this movie was unleashed, Douglas Kennedy starred in 'Flight of the Lost Balloon'; Ivan Triesault starred in 'Cimarron'; and James Griffith starred in 'Spartacus'.


Ivan Triesault Starring in The Amazing Transparent Man


OK. So where was I? Oh, yeah. The ethical dilemma the scientist posed at the end of this piece. Well, for yours truly, I did get a right kick out of this question, because in a round about way it kind of underpinned the overall movie in both favor and girth.

A Scene From The Amazing Transparent ManCome on. Let's face it. Are scientists going too far with innovative investigations? And if so, are procedures in place to make sure they don't fall into the wrong hands? Also, whose hand should they be in, and how can you be sure that this is the case?

Do you see what I'm driving at, dear reader? Although 'The Astonishing Invisible Man' seems like a very one-dimensional and simple tale on the surface, underneath it all, it has a very important question that needs to be addressed.

Now who can answer this question for us? Not me. I wouldn't even dare try. And not the makers of this movie either. Still, it was a very intriguing end to a somewhat old-school yarn. And with that, all I have left to say is...

Nuff said. Ha!

THE RATING: B-