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Erich von Stroheim,
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Paul, a young man whose father was once lieutenant Governor of California before his untimely death, has a strange, recurring dream in which his mother falls in love with a dangerous man (Brett Curtis), a dream which also contains the image of his father's death in an automobile accident under mysterious circumstances. Through the help of his friend, a psychiatrist, Paul realizes that his dream is coming true, and that his mother is falling under Curtis's influence. Curtis, in fact, is a homicidal maniac who lives as an out-patient at the sanitarium of the unscrupulous Dr. Muhlbach. When Curtis makes an attempt to marry Paul's mother, Paul intervenes, and after a series of events discovers the truth behind his dreams. Written by
Wheeler Winston Dixon
The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »
Its films like this that gave Edgar G. Ulmer his reputation as a director who could overcome the limitations of rapid lowbudget film making, even though STRANGE ILLUSION is actually an "A" picture by PRC standards. When Ulmer had interesting material to work with, the results were often good, as they are here. The story is fairly involving. Jimmy Lydon plays a college student who dreams of his late father being killed in a train/car wreck. In the dream he sees his widowed mother being seduced by a sinister but charming figure. Then the dream begins to come true, and Lydon has to convince others is was not all just a dream. The photography is low key and moody. The film is well paced and held my interest throughout. The dream sequences are well directed. My only complaint is that Jimmy Lydon's mother looks a bit to young to have a college age son.
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