Strange Illusion (1945)
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as Paul Cartwright
as Virginia Cartwright
as Brett Curtis
as Dr. Vincent
as Prof. Muhlbach
as Paul Cartwright
as Dorothy Cartwright
Critic Reviews for Strange Illusion
Though saddled with the script's fetish for Freud, Ulmer stylizes his thriller without sending it adrift. Like his other great films, Strange Illusion is a shaggy quickie that takes fine shape throughout.
Strange Illusion marks prolific filmmaker Edgar G. Ulmer's trip into Hitchcock territory, with often underwhelming results.
A lesser Ulmer.
Audience Reviews for Strange Illusion
The opening dream sequence is kind of interesting with overlapping shots. It didn't occur to me until after skimming other reviews here on Flixster that the plot of the young man worried about his mother's new dangerous fiancé has its source in Hamlet. I suppose it does contain that influence, but toward the end it feels a bit like Scooby-Doo with the meddling teenagers. Ulmer, the director, does seems to make the most of the low budget, but some of the performances, primarily the main character Paul and his buddy George, lack refinement. Warren William as the soon to be father-in-law, Brett Curtis, has a great face for this type of suspicious and evil character.
When I saw that this was a cheapie noir directed by Edgar G. Ulmer with no-name actors, I had high hopes for another Detour. Alas, no. A kind of Hardy Boys-ish mystery that's really no mystery at all, with lousy acting (especially by Jimmy Lydon in the lead), very few surprises and an overbearing score. Not to mention some instances of sexism (oh those gullible women!) and racism, thankfully somewhat mild. The one really unusual thing about it is that it all centers around a premonition, as Lydon's dreams come true. This really turned me off... I'm not interested in the paranormal when it comes to my noir. A couple of interesting touches (like the villain having a weakness for raping young ladies) but not enough to save the rest of it.
He sounds like a subject for some mental analysis A young man has issues with his mother's new boyfriend. Initially, he finds the man peculiar; however, with some additional research, he discovers the boyfriend may be a cold blooded killer. When the young man tries to convince others of his findings, he is locked away in an insane asylum. A close friend tries to help the young man prove his case. "The boy came home unexpectantly." "Violent?" "Definitely." Edgar Ulmer, director of The War of 1995, Hannibal (1959), Escape if You Can, Prisoner of Japan, and The Shocking Truth, delivers Strange Illusion. The storyline for this picture is well done and reminded me of several Hitchcock films. The acting was better than average and the cast includes Jimmy Lydon, Warren William, and Sally Eilers. "I'd like to see some of those old ghost towns." Strange Illusion is part of a Thriller box set I received for Christmas the year before last. I found this picture fascinating and well delivered. This seemed to be an early version of the recent Step Father movie that was released in 2009. I recommend giving this film a shot. "The dream is beginning to happen." Grade: B+
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