I predict this will be the most offensive fight of the year.
Lou and Bud have just graduated from Dugan’s Detective Training school. A boxer, Tommy Nelson (Arthur Franz) comes to them with their first case. He’s been falsely accused of killing his manager and has escaped from jail. He hires the team to take him to his fiancé’s house Helen Gray (Nancy Guild). He wants Helen’s uncle, Dr. Phillip Gray (Gavin Muir), to inject him with a special serum that will make him invisible so he can investigate who really killed his manager. Dr. Gray refuses since the formula is unstable and will most likely make him insane. The police arrive and desperate to clear his name, Tommy injects himself with the serum and becomes invisible.
Helen and Tommy convince Lou and Bud to help in the investigation for the real killer. Tommy tells them that the motive is because he refused to throw a fight against Rocky Hanlon. Tommy believes that Morgan (Sheldon Leonard), the fight promoter, had Tommy’s manager killed and framed Tommy.
In order to investigate Lou poses as a boxer “Louie the Looper” and Bud is his manager. At Stillwell’s gym and with Tommy’s help Morgan is again knocked out. A match is set between Bud and Hanlon. Bud is approached about throwing the fight. He agrees and the fix is in. Now Bud really has to get into the ring and although Tommy promises to be there, things don’t always work for Lou and Bud the way they plan.
Released in 1951 and directed by Charles Lamont “Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man” is the second in the duo’s comedy horror picture series. Although there is nothing horror about this movie. If you are an Arthur Franz fan, well most of the time you can’t see him so his performance is mostly limited to his voice.
The movie is basically a string of visual jokes and camp. The standard low jinx that Bud and Lou are famous for. The visual effects are extremely well done but those are the only things that attach it to the horror genre in any way. As far as the Bud and Lou horror series is concerned Invisible Man is not their best but as far as their comedy is concerned it’s better than some.
The names of Lou and Bud’s characters are taken from their middle names. William Alexander “Bud” Abbott and Louis Francis Cristillo (Costello). You’ll definitely want it if you are an Abbott and Costello fan or you need to round out your invisible man collection.