Strange Illusion, 1945, Edgar G. Ulmer

Strange Illusion (1945)

Studio: PRC; Regie: Edgar G. Ulmer; Drehbuch: Adele Comandini, Fritz Rotter; Kamera: Philip Tannura, Benjamin H. Kline, Eugen Schüfftan; Musik: Leo Erdody; Darsteller: Jimmy Lydon, Warren William, Sally Eilers, Regis Toomey, Charles Arnt, George Reed, Jayne Hazard. 35mm, sw, 87 min
 
Edgar G. Ulmer transferiert in Strange Illusion Shakespeares Hamlet mit einer Portion Freudianismus und sehr frei in einen All-American-Collegestudenten, der durch Alpträume dazu gebracht wird, 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 unheimliche Atmosphäre kreiert, wovon bereits die schauerliche Traumsequenz zu Beginn zeugt. (H. G.)
 
35mm preservation print courtesy of UCLA Film and Television Archive

 

Aus dem Katalog zur Retrospektive:

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 wideeyed 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)

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