Edgar G. Ulmer: The Man Off-Screen (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

Edgar G. Ulmer: The Man Off-Screen (2005)

Edgar G. Ulmer: The Man Off-Screen (2005)

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Movie Info

The accomplished documentary editor Michael Palm (I Am From Nowhere, Calling Hedy Lamarr) takes his directorial bow with the nonfiction film Edgar G. Ulmer: The Man Off-Screen. Filmmaker Ulmer raised low-budget, B-picture production to the level of an art form, via careful aesthetic choices and an intelligent hand, producing such time-tested, sensationalistic 'cult classics' as Bluebeard, Detour, The Black Cat and Murder is My Beat. Yet he had, by all accounts, a relatively shadowy and well-hidden private life - so well-hidden that few have attempted to undertake a feature-length cinematic investigation of the helmer's world. Via film clips, rare audio recordings, music cuts, interviews, and recollections from such recent Ulmer protégés as John Landis, Joe Dante, Roger Corman and Wim Wenders, Palm reconstructs piece by piece of the Ulmer story. Throughout, Palm and his participants wields the facts of Ulmer's life that later became legends, from his rise to prominence at the UFA studios in pre-Reich Berlin, to his period of impoverishment in Tinseltown, to his temporary industry banishment for absconding with a studio exec's daughter-in-law.

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Critic Reviews for Edgar G. Ulmer: The Man Off-Screen

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (4)

This 77-minute primer sheds partial light on this B-movie legend who, unlike his contemporaries like Lang, never managed to ascend to the A-list.

July 28, 2005 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
New York Times
Top Critic

Despite some excellent talking heads, Palm's good-natured attempt to stuff Ulmer's life into a B-movie mold of its own ultimately lacks the lean crackerjack narrative stylization that marked the emigre helmer's best works.

July 28, 2005 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

[A] well-wrought investigation of the often mysterious life of Edgar G. Ulmer.

July 26, 2005 | Full Review…
Village Voice
Top Critic

Michael Palm's film remains earthbound despite its interesting, offbeat subject.

June 7, 2005
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

The documentary employs many of Ulmer's trademark techniques, such as rear-projection, and tries to open up the usual talking-head format by taking the camera outside, in and around Hollywood.

November 12, 2006 | Full Review…
Combustible Celluloid

The subject and the film clips are great, although the documentary as a whole is a bit gimmicky.

July 28, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Christian Science Monitor

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