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Edgar G. Ulmer
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Edgar G. Ulmer,
Giuseppe Maria Scotese
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 »
Although I would hesitate to call it "film noir," Strange Illusion is a tightly woven, intriguing mystery. For a Poverty Row production, the writers and Ulmer paced the film well and kept it interesting. The acting, although amateurish at times, doesn't distract from a believable story. My only real complaint about the film is the music-- too much of it and too loud.
Brett's penchant for teenage girls is a refreshingly realistic perversion for a film of the '40s. It also stands in stark contrast to the "gee whiz" scenes (as mentioned in a previous comment), which seem like they were lifted straight out of "Leave It to Beaver."
I rate it 7/10.
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