Invisible Stripes (1939)

81 mins | Drama | 30 December 1939

Director:

Lloyd Bacon

Cinematographer:

Ernest Haller

Editor:

James Gibbon

Production Designer:

Max Parker

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

According to a news item in HR , Lewis E. Lawes's novel was originally bought as a vehicle for James Cagney and John Garfield. A pre-production news item in HR notes that Humphrey Bogart replaced Cagney so that Cagney could take a vacation. Another news item in HR adds that William Holden was borrowed from Paramount to appear in this film. Flora Robson, the English actress who played George Raft's mother in the film, was actually 6 years younger than ... More Less

According to a news item in HR , Lewis E. Lawes's novel was originally bought as a vehicle for James Cagney and John Garfield. A pre-production news item in HR notes that Humphrey Bogart replaced Cagney so that Cagney could take a vacation. Another news item in HR adds that William Holden was borrowed from Paramount to appear in this film. Flora Robson, the English actress who played George Raft's mother in the film, was actually 6 years younger than Raft. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
27 Dec 39
p. 3.
Film Daily
16 Jan 40
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Dec 38
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Aug 39.
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Aug 39
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Sep 39
pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Dec 39
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
4 Jan 40
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald
28 Oct 39
p. 60.
Motion Picture Herald
6 Jan 40
p. 42.
New York Times
13 Jan 40
p. 11.
Variety
3 Jan 40
p. 40.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture; Jack L. Warner in charge of production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Contr to trmt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Invisible Stripes by Lewis E. Lawes (New York, 1938).
DETAILS
Release Date:
30 December 1939
Production Date:
began early September 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
30 December 1939
Copyright Number:
LP9320
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
81
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5755
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

After being paroled from Sing Sing, Cliff Taylor returns home determined to go straight, despite the warnings from his cynical prison mate, Chuck Martin, that he will never shed his "invisible stripes." Chuck's prophesy seems to be coming true when Sue, Cliff's former sweetheart, rejects him because he is an ex-convict. Cliff's next disillusioning experience occurs when his younger brother Tim, embittered after struggling for years to save enough money to marry his fiancée Peggy, threatens to turn to crime. While Chuck returns to a lucrative life of crime, Cliff is fired from his job as a mechanic because of his record. Fired from his next job after he is heckled by the other men, Cliff is reduced to taking a job as a stockboy and finds acceptance in his work until he is arrested on suspicion of robbery after the store at which he is working is robbed. Although Cliff is exonerated of all charges, his experience hardens Tim, and to save his brother from the fate that he has suffered, Cliff joins Chuck's gang. After robbing enough banks to buy a garage for Tim, Cliff returns home to attend his brother's wedding. But when the gang is caught during their next robbery, Chuck takes refuge in Tim's garage, thus implicating Tim in the crime. After arranging to have all charges dropped against Tim in return for his identification of the robbers, Cliff goes to the aid of Chuck, who was wounded during the getaway. As Cliff helps Chuck to escape, he is gunned down by the gang members, but dies with the knowledge that he has spared his brother from ... +


After being paroled from Sing Sing, Cliff Taylor returns home determined to go straight, despite the warnings from his cynical prison mate, Chuck Martin, that he will never shed his "invisible stripes." Chuck's prophesy seems to be coming true when Sue, Cliff's former sweetheart, rejects him because he is an ex-convict. Cliff's next disillusioning experience occurs when his younger brother Tim, embittered after struggling for years to save enough money to marry his fiancée Peggy, threatens to turn to crime. While Chuck returns to a lucrative life of crime, Cliff is fired from his job as a mechanic because of his record. Fired from his next job after he is heckled by the other men, Cliff is reduced to taking a job as a stockboy and finds acceptance in his work until he is arrested on suspicion of robbery after the store at which he is working is robbed. Although Cliff is exonerated of all charges, his experience hardens Tim, and to save his brother from the fate that he has suffered, Cliff joins Chuck's gang. After robbing enough banks to buy a garage for Tim, Cliff returns home to attend his brother's wedding. But when the gang is caught during their next robbery, Chuck takes refuge in Tim's garage, thus implicating Tim in the crime. After arranging to have all charges dropped against Tim in return for his identification of the robbers, Cliff goes to the aid of Chuck, who was wounded during the getaway. As Cliff helps Chuck to escape, he is gunned down by the gang members, but dies with the knowledge that he has spared his brother from a life of invisible stripes. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.