Director Edgar Ulmer is responsible for one of my favorite movies of all time –THE BLACK CAT (1934) – and scattered around his list of credits you will find several other excellent pictures well worth your attention. His film noir DETOUR (1945) is a classic; the 1944 BLUEBEARD is fascinating; THE MAN FROM PLANET X (1951) is wonderful; and MURDER IS MY BEAT (1955) is quite entertaining. Sadly, for me, THE AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN (1960) is not one of Ulmer's works I can recommend. Spurred on by a commenter to this blog and the fact that TCM recently ran the film I decided to revisit the movie the other night. My memories were that it wasn’t very good and I have to report that I still feel the same way.
The movie is barely feature length clocking in at 58 minutes but DAMN- you feel each and every one of those increments of sixty seconds crawl by. The film is best described as a combination of film noir crime elements and mad scientist tropes but that makes it sound much more interesting that it is. Hell - just saying that a scientist creates an invisibility ray that is used to make a professional safe-cracker's job easier makes the film sound like a surefire blast but the resulting movie is just dull. Deadly dull! Tedious. Monotonous. Lifeless even. THE AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN is the filmic equivalent of watching paint dry or insects slowly die as the weather gets cold. I need never see this sleep inducing cinematic bog again. Ugh!