Monday, January 9, 2012

The Invisible Woman (1940)

Wow what a surprise this was. I wasn't expecting this at all. The Invisible Woman is not another sequel to The Invisible Man. However it seems that Universal Studio's needed to cash in on the 1933 classic as much as possible because this thing would come out the same year as the true follow up, The Invisible Man Returns. Well gender isn't the only thing changed in this story. Its a whole other feel to it. In fact its not even a horror movie. The Invisible Woman is a straight up comedy from beginning to end and never attempts even one scare.

Sure we get some scenes of violence and vengeance but its done in a slap-stick sort of way. Nobody is really harmed in this wacky flick. "I'm going to kick him in the pants" and kick him in the pants she does.

The story tells of a woman who volunteers to be the subject of a new scientific experiment with invisible results. Of course she doesn't offer herself up as the guinea pig because she cares about science but instead she wants to slap her boss around a bit who is a total prick. Well she does slap her boss around but finds herself in a bit of trouble when the mob wants to get their hands on the invisible machine.

Get ready for this, this is the best part... One of the mobsters is played by Shemp Howard. That's right, the one and only Three Stooges Shemp Howard. Shemp is awesome as always. One thing I found to be very strange was that one of the other actors tried to beat Shemps classic foot-work comedy in a scene where he gets the wobbly-knees. Why would you put Shemp in a movie and not have him do the ole knee-jerk? Other then Shemp, is Margaret Hamilton who most would remember best as the green-face Wicked Witch Of The West in The Wizard Of Oz which would be released only one year prior to this flick. Well Mrs. Hamilton's witchy face sticks out like a sore thumb in anything she is in and its nice to see her in this one along side some really funny actors.

Aside from the humor The Invisible Woman is obviously more sexy then the Claude Rains classic and its obvious that the film makers wanted to beat this into our brains. The fact that Claude Rains was running around nude raised a few brows upon its release. As ridiculous as that sounds it is true and it amazes me that the studio passed The Invisible Woman at all with the strict codes that were present at the time. We are constantly reminded that she is naked and although she is invisible they found a way to make it sort of sexy. In one scene our Invisible Woman puts on some wet stockings so we "can see her figure". She flaunts her legs about in a fashion that probably caused some erections amongst male theater goers.

I guess the times have changed but this thing is an interesting watch. Filled with goofy special effects, dumb humor, silly gags and of course its worth watching for the great Shemp Howard alone.


  1. I had no idea Shemp was in this. Now I gotta see it!

  2. Yeah man if youre ready for an all out comedy check this one out sometime