Thursday, January 9, 2014


RIP to actor Larry D. Mann, passed on at 91. Mann appeared in movies ranging from The Singing Nun to The Sting and TV ranging from Hogan’s Heroes to Hill Street Blues to Homefront, but will perhaps be most fondly remembered as the voice of bearlike prospector Yukon Cornelius in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Opening tomorrow in the Valley is The Invisible Woman, directed by Ralph Fiennes, who also stars as Charles Dickens, opposite Felicity Jones as the author’s mistress Nelly Ternan. It’s an intriguing subject, but I missed the screening, so…

Monster-of-the-Week: …this week’s award will have to go to the more literally invisible title character of Universal’s 1940 film The Invisible Woman.

Played by Virginia Bruce, she’s a fetching department store model who volunteers to be a guinea pig for sweet but absent-minded scientist John Barrymore, and uses her newfound transparency to take revenge on her skunky boss (Charles Lane).

Non-lethal revenge, that is. She’s surely among the most benign, least scary of all Monsters of the Week—the movie is a comedy, though it’s included on the Universal Monsters Invisible Man DVD collection. The humor is extremely corny and smirky and jocular, but it’s sort of a must-see all the same—can anyone afford not to see a movie the cast of which includes not only Barrymore and Charles Lane but Oscar Homolka, Charlie Ruggles, Donald MacBride, Shemp Howard, Margaret Hamilton and even a glimpse of Maria Montez?

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