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Monday, September 12, 2011

Invisible Ghost (1941)

Bela Lugosi stars as Charles Kessler, a man living with his daughter while hoping for the return of his wife who ran away.  While with another man, she was injured an a car accident and lost her mind.  These days she's locked up in a barn close by where she is being taken care of by the gardener… but she gets out at night all by herself to wander the property.  Every time Kessler sees her, he falls into a maniacal trance and murders someone.  Sounds a bit confusing?  You're not alone.  It like one, big awful soap opera story.
The Invisible Ghost doesn't make much sense.  Too many things are left unexplained and while watching the film I was dumbfounded that no one could figure out that Kessler was behind the murders.  Lugosi is O.K. in this film but it is hardly one of his better performances.  He doesn't have much to work with and doesn't bring much to the table.  The rest of the cast is adequate, although I had a special fondness for Clarence Muse as Evans the Butler.  He gives the best performance in the film and has a rather lengthy list of acting credits in IMDB.  Muse stays away from black stereotypes that are so prevalent in films of this era and opts for a household domestic who is smart, observant and hard working.
In spite of the title there aren't any ghosts here.  Nor are there any horror elements.  The Invisible Ghost is a not-so-thrilling thriller.  Your time is best spent elsewhere with other great films from this era.  This one is strictly for Lugosi fans only.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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