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Strange Illusion (1945)

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 (... See full summary »

Director:

Edgar G. Ulmer

Writers:

Adele Comandini (screenplay), Fritz Rotter (original story)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Jimmy Lydon ... Paul Cartwright (as James Lydon)
Warren William ... Brett Curtis
Sally Eilers ... Virginia Cartwright
Regis Toomey ... Dr. Vincent
Charles Arnt ... Professor Muhlbach
George Reed ... Benjamin (as George H. Reed)
Jayne Hazard ... Dorothy Cartwright
Jimmy Clark Jimmy Clark ... George Hanover
Mary McLeod Mary McLeod ... Lydia
Pierre Watkin ... District Attorney Wallace Armstrong
Sonia Sorel Sonia Sorel ... Charlotte Farber
Victor Potel ... Mac - Game Warden (as Vic Potel)
George Sherwood George Sherwood ... Langdon
Gene Roth ... Sparky (as Gene Stutenroth)
John Hamilton ... Bill Allen
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 March 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

First Illusion See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Draws on the plot of William Shakespeare's Hamlet. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Paul Cartwright: I'm Paul Cartwright, my father was Judge Albert Cartwright, once lieutenant governor of the state, he was killed two years ago in a mysterious accident. We were not only father and son, but friends. The shock of his violent death still haunts my mind, my nights are troubled by strange dreams.
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Connections

Referenced in Edgar G. Ulmer - The Man Off-screen (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Frightening Concept Unto Itself
30 July 2014 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

For a PRC film Strange Illusion is a top drawer item. It's on a PRC shoe string budget to be sure, but Edgar Ullmer is a director who works good with low budgets and in this case some offbeat casting.

James Lydon who most people will know as the radio and film Henry Aldrich is far from the goofy juvenile persona of that role. He's a rather serious student who is deeply concerned about Warren William who has been paying court to his mother Sally Eilers. Lydon's father was killed six months earlier, among other things he was the former Lieutenant Governor of California. His father was also a criminologist who interested himself in the case of a psychopathic killer who is believed dead, but Lydon thinks William's the guy.

What's really creepy in this film is that William in fact has been a patient at a sanitarium under the care of psychiatrist Charles Arnt. No mystery here, we learn early on that Arnt has William working for him. Psychiatrists intimidate people because they are students of the mind and know what makes people tick. Having one with a killer at his beck and call is a frightening concept unto itself. And William has his own agenda.

The lucky break for Lydon is that he also has a psychiatrist at his beck and call, his uncle on his mother's side Regis Toomey.

Strange Illusion is a film that will scare you far more than some blood and gore things because it explores things we don't like to think about. And that other worldly ending is a truly unique experience. I can't say any more about it.

This is one you have to see for yourself.


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