Strange Illusion is a 1945 film noir crime film directed by Edgar G. Ulmer and starring Jimmy Lydon, Warren William and Sally Eilers. According to noir historian Spencer Selby the film is "a stylish cheapie by the recognized master of stylish cheapies."
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Edgar G. Ulmer|
|Produced by||Leon Fromkess|
|Screenplay by||Adele Comandini|
|Story by||Fritz Rotter|
|Music by||Leo Erdody|
Eugen Schüfftan (uncredited)
|Edited by||Carl Pierson|
|Distributed by||Producers Releasing Corporation|
A college student has a recurrent dream that leads him to suspect there is something sinister about his widowed mother's suitor.
- Jimmy Lydon as Paul Cartwright (as James Lydon)
- Warren William as Brett Curtis
- Sally Eilers as Virginia Cartwright
- Regis Toomey as Dr. Martin Vincent
- Charles Arnt as Prof. Muhlbach
- George Reed as Benjamin, the butler
- Jayne Hazard as Dorothy Cartwright
- Jimmy Clark as George Hanover
- Mary McLeod as Lydia
- Pierre Watkin as Dist. Atty. Wallace Armstrong
- Sonia Sorel as Charlotte Farber
- Victor Potel as Mac Game Warden (as Vic Potel)
- George Sherwood as Langdon
- Gene Roth as Sparky (as Gene Stutenroth)
- John Hamilton as Bill Allen
Film critic Dennis Schwartz gave the film a mixed review, yet liked the atmospherics of the film, and wrote, "The dark psychological thriller had an engrossing premise courtesy of Mr. Shakespeare and was influenced further by Freudian dream analysis, but it was unconvincing as a melodrama, the script was weak, the plot was full of holes and the acting was as lame as it gets...What's interesting is that the film is shot as an intense dream sequence in shadowy black-and-white hues and its sense of delirium powerfully filters through the story almost wiping away the unconvincing heavy-handed performances of the villains and the mummified acting by the leads. It's a film where Ulmer's unique style and his film noir moody interjections work better than the derivative mystery story."
Critic Matthew Sorrento of Film Threat also lauded the film: "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."
- Selby, Spencer. Dark City: The Film Noir, film listed as film noir #391 on page 182, 1984. Jefferson, N.C. & London: McFarland Publishing. ISBN 0-89950-103-6.
- Schwartz, Dennis. "Ozus' World Movie Reviews," film review, September 20, 2004. Accessed: August 1, 2013.
- Sorrento, Matthew. Film Threat, film review, February 18, 2011. Accessed: August 1, 2013.