Retrospektive 2018

Strange Illusion

Edgar G. Ulmer
USA 1945
87 min

Edgar G. Ulmer transferiert in STRANGE ILLUSION Shakespeares „Hamlet“ mit einer Portion Freudianismus (und sehr) frei in einen All-Americam-College-Studenten, den Alpträume dazu veranlassen, den mysteriösen Tod seines Vaters zu untersuchen. Der Film entstand mit relativ niedrigem Budget bei der Billigfirma PRC, für die Ulmer im selben Jahr DETOUR drehte. Ursprünglich sollte Joseph H. Lewis Regie führen, schließlich entschied man sich doch für den erfahrenen Stilisten Ulmer, der mit reichlich Nebel und modernen Kameraperspektiven bereits von der Traumsequenz zu Beginn an unheimliche Atmosphäre kreiert.


Shakespeare is given Hardy Boys treatment by Edgar Ulmer in his liberal transformation of Hamlet into an All-American college freshman home from school and inspired by weird nightmares to investigate the mysterious death of his father, the town’s prominent judge. Among the legendary Poverty Row studio Producers Releasing Company’s more ambitious projects, STRANGE ILLUSION was originally intended for Joseph H. Lewis but ultimately assigned to the equally adept stylist Ulmer who released ample fog and modernist angles to give eerie atmospherics to the film, beginning with its evocative dream sequence opening. A clear extension of his leading role as a Boy Scout detective in Paramount’s popular Henry Aldrich series, Jimmy Lyndon’s Hamlet conveys a wide- eyed naiveté that cuts almost subversively against the feverishly Gothic Freudianism percolating throughout STRANGE ILLUSION. Meanwhile the perennial villain Warren Williams lends his trademark lecherous ness to the film’s Claudius, determined at all costs to seduce and destroy the wife of the judge and uber father-figure who once convicted him. (Haden Guest)

  • Jimmy Lydon
  • Charles Arnt - Jed Reed
  • Warren William
  • Sally Eilers
  • Regis Toomey
  • George Reed
  • Jayne Hazard
  • Adele Comandini
  • Fritz Rotter
  • Eugen Schüfftan
  • Benjamin H. Kline
  • Philip Tannura
  • Leo Erdody
PRC (Producers Releasing Corporation)
35 mm
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