A kindly man named Charles Kessler (Bela Lugosi) has known tragedy in his life. His wife cheated on him, and was thought to have been killed in a car accident. Now each year on their anniversary, he has his servants prepare a meal for him and his wife, just as though she were still there. What he doesn’t know is that she’s still alive, but she’s not right in the head, and she’s being kept down in the basement of one of the other buildings on the estate where she’s cared for by the kindly old gardener until she can recover enough from her ordeal to go back home. Unfortunately, she’s not being held prisoner, so some nights she actually gets up and goes wandering around the estate, even taking the time to look in some of the windows. I say unfortunately, because every time her husband happens to spot her, a strange, trance-like state comes over him, and without even knowing what he’s doing, he commits a murder. Once the deed is done and the trance-like state has subsided, he returns to his kindly old self with no idea that he’s even been involved in the horrible spate of murders that have been happening on the estate.
Bela Lugosi often played monsters. He was believable in those roles because of his accent and the sinister looks he could get on his face. There are other films like this one however, where even though he’s the murderer, he’s really not a bad man at all. He was just a victim of bad circumstances, and his mind couldn’t take the strain of seeing his dead wife. When he wasn’t killing people, he was a loving father, a gracious host, and very kind to his servants. This dual nature was something that the beloved actor could handle with ease, and this film was a prime example.
The mystery in this film is never kept much of a secret. Once we find out that his wife is still alive, it’s pretty much all out in the open from there. Still, the entire cast did a fine job in bringing the story to life, and this film is just another fine example of all the wonderful films that were being made back in the thirties and forties.
For special features, this new release from Kino Lorber includes audio commentary by film historians Tom Weaver, Gary Rhodes, and Dr. Robert J. Kiss. It also includes trailers, and subtitles. The quality of the restoration is absolutely wonderful, in both sound and visuals.
If you’re a fan of Bela Lugosi, then it’s a no-brainer for you to buy yourself a copy of this release for your collection. I’ve owned cheaper quality releases in the past, and they can’t hold a candle to this release from Kino Lorber. Kino has been consistently releasing high quality restorations of these old films, so whenever you see one, you’ll know that you’re getting the highest quality for your money. I know that sounds like an ad for Kino, but it’s actually the truth.
If you’d like to find out more about this release, you can check out its page on the Kino Lorber website here: https://www.kinolorber.com/film/invisibleghost