Inspiriert durch H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man. Frank Raymond ist der Enkel des Wissenschaftlers, der einst hinter das Geheimnis der Unsichtbarkeit gekommen ist. Deutsche und japanische Spione versuchen ihm die Formel abzujagen. Frank kann entkommen, weigert sich jedoch gleichfalls, die Formel für die US-Regierung einzusetzen. Nach Kriegseintritt der USA ändert er seine Meinung, jedoch nur unter der Bedingung, dass er persönlich als unsichtbarer Agent nach Deutschland geschickt wird, um die Pläne der Nazis auszuspionieren. Mit dem Fallschirm springt er über Berlin ab, nimmt das Serum, entledigt sich seiner Kleider und ist fortan unsichtbar. Sein Kontakt in Deutschland ist die attraktive Maria. Oder ist sie eine Spionin der Nazis?
This is good fun for the devotees of slapstick especially, and has the advantage of capitalizing on the saboteur angle now so much in the news. What happens to the Nazi would-be saboteurs when the “Invisible Agent” goes to work on them will produce howls of laughter by youngsters in the audience and may prove a thoroughly enjoyable vent for the feelings of older people as to what they would like to see happen to the enemy agents. The plot is extravagant, and this is used to advantage by some swell camera trickery which is far ahead of the plot for imagination and novelty. The cast is able, but the competition of the camera is such that its members play second fiddle to the visual photographic stunts. The saboteur plot uses the “Invisible Man” device to circumvent a planned surprise attack and sabotage by the Nazis. There is an admixture of comedy and melodrama, with enough satire on Axis doctrines to give the story humorous appeal to the adults. The “Invisible Man” stunt lends itself to novelty exploitation, with trick heralds, invisible ink messages, etc.
Showmen’s Trade Review, 1.8.1942
It is a shocking fact that in this fateful Summer Hollywood should have the temerity to offer to American audiences such a film as #Invisible Agent#, now at the Criterion. For it is as obvious a breach of taste as the screen has provided – and it has provided more than one example – in the past season. Out of the fanciful notion of placing an invisible spy in present-day Germany, the author has concocted an irresponsible tale that blithely mingles gauche attempts at comic satire with melodramatic sadism.
In one scene it portrays the Gestapo bullies as so many Keystone Kops; in the next it reveals them torturing an old man whose hands they have just broken. That is the gamut – from TOPPER to CONFESSIONS OF A NAZI SPY, from a Superman cartoon to the brutality of a torture chamber. To say it is silly is not enough. While the German Army advances with seven-league boots, such a feeble and miscalculated jibe is downright dangerous.
Bearing little or no relation to H.G. Wells’s speculation, the plot reduces the facts of the war to the level of a comic strip. […]
Universal has ill-used such fine talent as Albert Basserman in the role of underground revolutionist, and even the lesser talents of Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Peter Lorre and J. Edward Bromberg. Ilona Massey has a lovely figure and a velvet voice; Jon Hall, who may thank his lucky stars, is invisible for the most part. INVISIBLE AGENT takes the ruinous point of view that maniacal brutes may be simultaneously shown as laughable dolts. It is as incredible as a joke told in a nightmare.
T. S. [Theodore Strauss]: Invisible Agent
The New York Times, 6.8.1942
Almost a year before Pearl Harbor, Universal, with an eye to novelty, turned out THE INVISIBLE WOMAN, and now with an eye to both novelty and thrills, plus a-other well-presented opportunity to take a deep dig at the Axis (with the Nipponese thrown in), the company offers INVISIBLE AGENT, which has the same basic idea. […] The audience is enabled to follow the invisible [Jon] Hall’s actions through their effects, such as the moving of objects. This gives the trick-shot studio specialists plenty of work. There are tilts with the Nazis and the Jap agents in Germany, and toward the climax the screenplay has these factions fighting one another, which would be a good stunt if it could be done in fact. The romantic interest is rounded out by the lithe and easy-to-look-at Ilona Massey, a British agent operating in Germany. Cast further has a bevy of capable supporting players. All in all, this is the ordinary peace-time meller translated into wartime pattern. It should do okay with the adventure fans. The Nazis are made to look pretty stupid and beset with official rivalry, while the Japs appear like slippery villains of the old serial days. Attraction is functional, i. e. made for a specific stratum of fans, and in this light has enough on the ball to entertain them.
The Film Daily, 7.8.1942