Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Body Disappears (1941)

Starring Jeffrey Lynn, Jane Wyman, Edward Everett Horton, Willie Best, Marguerite Chapman
Directed by D. Ross Lederman
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

A chemistry professor tries to test his formula for restoring the dead to life on a body he thinks is dead, only it isn't, and he succeeds instead in turning the man invisible.

I really enjoyed this amusing comedy from Warner Brothers with Horton portraying his typical eccentric and argumentative personality, and playing off the other cast members as well as in any of his films that I've seen.  He certainly was a talent, and was well-utilized throughout his long career in a wide range of films.  Although the special effects are not of the seamless quality designed by John P. Fulton in Universal's Invisible Man films during the same era, they're serviceable enough, and are efficiently employed in a number of effective sight gags.  Modern audiences are sure to find Willie Best's presence here playing a tired stereotype distasteful, as I did, but he does work well together with Horton, and scenes with him clinging to the backseat of a car being driven wildly by an invisible driver add to the madcap energy of the picture.

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