The Amazing Transparent Man

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The Amazing Transparent Man

Sci-Fi | 58 mins | Released: 1960
Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Starring: Marguerite Chapman, Douglas Kennedy, James Griffith, Ivan Triesault, Boyd "Red" Morgan, Cormel Daniel, Edward Erwin
Our Rating: 4
Black & White

Former U. S. Army major, Paul Krenner (James Griffith), plans to conquer the world with an army of invisible soldiers and will do anything to achieve that goal. With the help of his hired muscle, Julian (Red Morgan), Krenner forces Dr. Peter Ulof (Ivan Trisault) to perfect the invisibility machine Ulof invented. He keeps Ulof’s daughter, Maria (Carmel Daniel) imprisoned to keep Ulof in line.

The nuclear materials Ulof needs to better his invisibility machine are extremely rare and kept under guard in government facilities. Krenner arranges the prison break of notorious safecracker, Joey Faust (Douglas Kennedy), to steal the materials he needs. Of course Faust will do the jobs while invisible. Krenner offers Faust money for the jobs and Faust expresses his grievances against working for him. Faust tells him that he’ll sing like a canary if he’s returned to prison. Krenner tells Faust that he’s wanted alive or dead. Faust reluctantly complies. However, when he meets Faust’s woman, Laura Matson (Marguerite Chapman), he slowly charms her into a double cross.

Faust continues attempting to escape and tries to get one over on Krenner. It looks like he may have the edge on Krenner when Faust attacks Krenner while invisible. However, Dr. Ulof’s guinea pig dies and, during the second time he’s invisible, Faust uncontrollably reverts from invisible to visible and back again. Despite these drawbacks Faust forges ahead intent on breaking free from Krenner’s control.

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Movie Notes:

The Amazing Transparent Man is a 1960 science fiction film starring Marguerite Chapman. It is an American B-movie which follows the story of an insane ex-U. S. Army major who uses an escaped criminal to steal materials to improve the invisibility machine his scientist prisoner made. It was one of two sci-fi films shot back-to-back in Dallas, Texas by director Edgar G. Ulmer (the other being Beyond the Time Barrier, also released in that same year). The combined filming schedule for both films was only two weeks. The film was later featured in an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

The film has received very poor reviews and suffered in popularity as a result of its low budget.

Leading science fiction author David Wingrove commented in his Science Fiction Source Book that “Its cheap-budget origins show throughout. Amazing claims too much for what is essentially a thriller involving an escaped criminal…”

This was shot back-to-back with Beyond the Time Barrier (1960).

The combined shooting schedule was only two weeks. They became Edgar G. Ulmer’s last American films.

This is the final film of Marguerite Chapman.

An Illinois punk rock group called The Amazing Transparent Man recorded on the Springman Records label from 1997 to 2004.

MCP gave the film an abbreviated release before it was picked up by AIP in 1960.

The opening credits are shown on a gray prison wall.

When Drake uses binoculars to view what is left of ground zero for the lab explosion, the perspective of what he is seeing through the binoculars changes four times (one of the views is from ground up at a man in a fallout suit), all of which are technically impossible from his vantage point.

Notable Quotes:
Major Paul Krenner: “I must know the full potential of your invention because my aim is to make an entire army invisible. Do you understand that? An entire army.”

Major Paul Krenner: [to Ulof] “You’re too old-fashioned to be a genius.”

Dr. Peter Ulof: “There is a man who has unlocked every door, except the one to his own soul…”