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Invisible Stripes
Invisible Stripes
Director: Lloyd Bacon
Genres: Mystery & Suspense
1hr 22min

Parolee Chuck Martin is going straight when he gets out of jail -- straight back to a life of crime. In lockup or out in the civilian world, he knows he'll forever wear a con's Invisible Stripes. As Martin, Humphrey Bogart...  more »


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Movie Details

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Creators: George Raft, Jane Bryan, William Holden, Humphrey Bogart, Lee Patrick, Marc Lawrence
Genres: Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Black and White
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1939
Run Time: 1hr 22min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
Subtitles: English, French

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Movie Reviews

The end of the gangster genre at Warner Brothers
Douglas M | 12/15/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"By 1939, when "Invisible Stripes" was released, the gangster cycle at Warner Brothers was coming to an end. The Hays Office had strangled the genre and the War was soon to take over. The film stars George Raft as an ex-con trying to go straight but unable to make headway due to the invisible stripes of being on parole. Raft was a wooden and unimaginative actor whose stardom was as much based on his notoriety as an ex-gangland figure as any magnetism he brought to the screen. He is arguably at his best here but that is not much of a compliment and he is outclassed by Humphrey Bogart in support as another ex-con. Classical British actress Flora Robson is miscast as his mother, a very young William Holden overacts as his young brother but the tender Jane Bryan is superb in a 2 dimensional part which she invests with great feeling.

This is a Hal Wallis production so it is more expansive than many of its much more exciting predecessors. There is a sappy score which telegraphs every change of mood and lots of shots from the studio backlots. They really look like sets too - utterly 2 dimensional.

The DVD print is excellent and Warners Night at the Movies is included with cartoon, trailer, newsreel etc. The technicolour shorts are well done. One is in the series of Reader's Digest history lessons which Warners produced regularly. This one tells of the circumstances which resulted in the Monroe Doctrine and some fine actors appear. The other is a musical satire on Hollywood, another in a series starring Fritz Feld in a take off of director Michael Curtiz. The cartoons are good too. One is set around a prison break with a send up of Hugh Herbert as the warden. The other is a predecessor of Bugs Bunny who is more like Daffy Duck at this stage than the Bugs who evolved. The best feature is the comprehensive and enlightening commentary. Two erudite commentators share the honours. At the same time as placing the film in its place as a prototype Warner Brothers product, they cleverly point out how it signifies a progression from the gangster genre to a precursor of film noir. Also, they explain how the censorship affected the story. Raft's character is devoted to his mother, only returns to crime for the most altruistic of reasons but still gets his just deserts, because, above all, he is a criminal. This is good listening.

The DVD is best value if purchased as part of the Warner's Gangster Collection Volume 4."
David W. Wagner | 04/07/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This crime classic was ignored on video, so this is indeed a welcomed release. This release is in the 4th DVD collection of "Gangsters" and it's worth your time. It captures the era of the Warner 'mugs' and fans of the genre will recognize old friends like Marc Lawrence, Paul Kelly and Al Hill sprinkled throughout the cast. Leonard Maltin wrote that the "subdued acting is effective" and he's so right. Star George Raft plays a released convict trying to edge his way back into society. At the dawning of his career, William Holden (in a role that John Garfield turned down), registers well as the frustrated younger brother that wants to improve his lot. Bogie was far down on the Warner Bros ladder at this time, but was surely working his way up. Picture and sound quality are first-rate, as well."