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(aka 'Edgar G. Ulmer: The King of the B's (1939-1946)')

 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/ulmer.htm
USA 19
39-46

 

Moon Over Harlem (1939), Bluebeard (1944), Strange Illusion (1945), The Strange Woman (1946) and Daughter of Dr. Jekyll (1957)

Swiss Family Robinson      Goodbye, Mr. Germ

 

 Edgar G. Ulmer spent much of his directorial career working for a company known as 'Producers Releasing Corporation'. They were low-budget and churned out release in record time. Image Entertainment and All-Day Entertainment have re-issued their previous three-disc DVD Archive set, initially entitled 'Edgar G. Ulmer: The King of the B's (1939-1946)' producing the exact replica transfers packaged with a different cover and the addition of Daughter of Dr. Jekyll.

 

It collects five of his feature films - Moon Over Harlem (1939), Bluebeard (1944), Strange Illusion (1945), The Strange Woman (1946) and Daughter of Dr. Jekyll (1957) - and they add various obscure extras, including his unsold 1957 pilot for Swiss Family Robinson, an educational short directed by Ulmer, entitled "Goodbye, Mr. Germ," a few interview featurettes and some trailers. Ulmer's daughter, Arianne, and widow Shirley, take part in remembering the man and his cinema.

 

All Day Entertainment's ongoing DVD celebration of the films of legendary low-budget pioneer Edgar G. Ulmer began in 1999 with two DVD volumes that have since become out-of-print. This boxset collects these first two discs, covering three complete features and many extras. Disc One includes "The Strange Woman" (99 min.), a 1946 riff on "Gone with the Wind" restaged in New England, without the Civil War, but with Hedy Lamarr as a conniving manipulator who exploits her sexual allure to destroy the men around her. This disc also includes, on the opposite side, a rather rough print of Strange Illusion - 'Hamlet ala Hardy Boys' deeply steeped in Film Noir folklore. Disc 2 is also two-sided with Bluebeard, a Crime / Horror / Thriller with John Carradine in the title role, and the oft-maligned Daughter of Dr. Jekyll sporting the second side. Finally on disc 3 we have the rarely seen 1939 noir musical, "Moon Over Harlem" (68 min.), which Ulmer likened to a "Black Porgy and Bess" (but no one else did).

 

NOTE: Our investigations lead us to believe that the product listed in Amazon is THIS new version regardless of the image or details. As we make determinations we will post it here.

Gary W. Tooze

 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/ulmer.htm

Hedy Lamarr is very alluring in this sordid romantic saga based on the book by Ben Ames Williams. She plays Jenny, a lusty, sociopathic lass in the wilds of 18th Century Bangor, Maine, who uses her beauty to snare a local, rich, middle-aged businessman (Gene Lockhart). She then seduces his weak-willed son (Louis Hayward) and later goes after John (George Sanders), a tall, dark, handsome woodsman engaged to her friend, Mae (Hillary Brooke). For a period piece made in the 1940s, this film is briskly paced, action-packed, and unusually erotic, courtesy the assured direction of low-budget genius Edgar G. Ulmer (Detour, Strange Illusion etc.) in one of his rare big-budget projects. Highlights include a forbidden embrace amid a raging lightning storm, and Jenny allowing herself to be beaten by her alcoholic father (Dennis Hoey), and then showing off her whip marks to arouse Mr. Poster. ALL ABOUT EVE fans will delight in seeing their Addison De Witt (Sanders) looking uncomfortably overeducated in the part of a robust New England woodsman.

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 26th, 1946

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DVD Review: Image Entertainment / All-Day Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

NOTE: As of this writing the DVD cover on Amazon has not been updated to the new one above, but we have been informed that the one shown here is the one you will receive.

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Distribution Image Entertainment / All-Day Entertainment Home Video - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:54:48 
Video 1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.29 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Image Entertainment / All-Day Entertainment Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Audio Commentary
• Interview
• Photo Gallery

DVD Release Date: October 4th, 2005

Extra thick Keep Case with two openings and three disc holders
Chapters: 12

 

 

Comments:

Compared to the Ventura DVD, this All-Day image is softer, smoother, cleaner and has less damage. It has also lost a shade of detail though. It certainly has the better extras and menus. Although, like the rest of the boxset, it is weak, but somehow seems appropriate for the caliber of the directors works.

One thing for sure about this film - Hedy Lamarr was one attractive lady!

Gary W. Tooze

 





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(Ventura Distribution - Hedy Lamarr Collection - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Edgar Ulmer - King of B's - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

 

 


 

 


 

 

(aka "First Illusion" or "Out of the Night")

 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/ulmer.htm
USA 1945

.

Teenage gee-whiz kid Jimmy Lydon has been plagued by nightmares since his father's unsolved death by traffic fatality. 'Hamlet ala Hardy Boys' surfaces by 'B' style master Edgar Ulmer (protege of F. W. Murnau no less) . His sleeping precognitions involve a mysterious man who slides into his widowed mother's life. Following his father's wishes he establishes himself as family protector as starry-eyed mother and immature sister are both smitten. What we are handed is Film-Noir with Ulmer's unique charm and low-budget charisma.

 

Most noted for The Black Cat (1934) and Detour (1945) Ulmer's eccentric films have elevated him to a cult-like status among noir fans. If you can let your suspension of disbelief level drop a few notches you can get more than your money's worth from this clandestine and meager offering.  out of   

Gary W. Tooze

 

Promotional material

 

Theatrical Release: 31 March 1945

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DVD Review: Image Entertainment / All-Day Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

  

 NOTE: As of this writing the DVD cover on Amazon has not been updated to the new one above, but we have been informed that the one shown here is the one you will receive.

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Image Entertainment / All-Day Entertainment  - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:25:21 
Video

1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.97 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:
Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: All Day Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• The King of PRC - featurette
• Trailers for Ulmer films
• Advertising art
 

DVD Release Date: October 4th, 2005
Extra thick Keep Case with two openings and three disc holders
Chapters: 12

 

 

Comments:

While the Roan Group image compared fully HERE is the best image, the All-Day has the best extra features. The All-Day is quite weak, hazy and contrast boosted. In this Boxset, it is one of the weakest transfers, which is a shame as it is one of the better films.

Gary W. Tooze

 

 





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(All Day Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Roan Group - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

 

 


 

 


 

 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/ulmer.htm

USA 1944

 

Bluebeard is set in 19th-century Paris (seemingly during the era of Louis Bonaparte?), when the eponymous, but unknown killer is leaving a school of pretty young victims floating in the Seine. John Carradine, coached by Ulmer into giving a restrained performance, plays Gaston, a painter and puppeteer who has been leading his marionettes through popular performances of Gounod’s Faust in a small neighborhood park. A bachelor with an eye for pretty young women, he becomes infatuated with a pretty young milliner, Lucille (Jean Parker), and hires her to sew the costumes for his next production, a puppet ballet. When Lucille discovers that Gaston has painted the portraits of other young women, she suggests that he paint hers. But almost violently Gaston refuses, for, as we’ve seen, bad things happen to women when Gaston paints their portrait, and he’s trying to give up painting altogether.

Ulmer’s treatment of the material is immediately atmospheric. Ulmer himself had once been a set designer, and the sets for Bluebeard are quite remarkable. The park where the puppet shows occur (all the exteriors are in a small studio) lends itself to picturesque compositions of women in bonnets, soldiers on horseback, etc. From the original and painterly, Ulmer moves to the familiar and stagy: Gaston’s studio is a mildly expressionist tableau of windows and stairs that avoids most clichés but invokes that good old gothic mood. Finally, underneath Gaston’s rooms is the site of pure melodrama and psychic shadow, the Parisian sewers, which not only provide a convenient dumping place for his victim’s corpses, but also a secret entrance for the film’s real villain, an art dealer named Lamarte (Ludwig Stossel).

Excerpt of Henry Sheehan's located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: November 11th, 1944

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DVD Review: Image Entertainment / All-Day Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

NOTE: As of this writing the DVD cover on Amazon has not been updated to the new one above, but we have been informed that the one shown here is the one you will receive.

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Image Entertainment / All-Day Entertainment  - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:10:09 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.23 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Image Entertainment / All-Day Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Featurette: "Bluebeard Revealed"
• Photo Album

DVD Release Date: October 4th, 2005
Extra thick Keep Case with two openings and three disc holders
Chapters: 11

 

 

Comments:

Not a fatally poor transfer but still relatively weak. A middle-of-the-road transfer for this boxset - which generally means very weak. Crackling audio augment Carradine strong performance. It's great to actually see this film, although we, of course, which the quality was superior... which it may never attain as the film barely warrants a DVD release at all.

Gary W. Tooze

 





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http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/ulmer.htm

USA 1957

 

Gloria Talbott (whom I remember fondly from I Married a Monster from Outer Space) is a young woman who discovers she is the daughter of the infamous Dr. Jekyll. She then begins to believe that she may also have a split personality, one of whom is a ruthless killer. Lots of potholes and mythology interweaving signature this as an Ed Wood, ooops, I mean Edgar Ulmer production. Many similarities to She-wolf of London.

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 28th, 1957

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DVD Review: Image Entertainment / All-Day Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

NOTE: As of this writing the DVD cover on Amazon has not been updated to the new one above, but we have been informed that the one shown here is the one you will receive.

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Image Entertainment / All-Day Entertainment  - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:09:39 
Video 1.82:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.81 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Image Entertainment / All-Day Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.82:1

Edition Details:

• Isolated music and effects track
• Theatrical trailer
• Featurette: At Home With John Agar
• 
Featurette: Daughter of Edgar Ulmer
• Photo Archive

DVD Release Date: October 4th, 2005
Extra thick Keep Case with two openings and three disc holders
Chapters: 17
 

 

 

Comments:

Although non-anamorphic this is one of the better transfers of the boxset, but the film is one of the most laughable. Moderately sharp with acceptable contrast, it is filled with extra features including music and interviews that are as campy as the films of Ulmer themselves. What a hoot!

Gary W. Tooze

 





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http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/ulmer.htm

This historically valuable "race movie" has been fortunately preserved, largely because of the cult status of its director, Edgar G. Ulmer. Hardworking Minnie (Cora Green) marries "Dollar" Bill (Bud Harris) a shady gambler after her money and her attractive daughter, Sue (Izanetta Wilcois). Sue meanwhile, is in love with Bob (Carl Hough), an idealist fond of looking out over the skyline and saying "Harlem... there's so much to be done here--it's fairly screaming for leadership." When Bob decides to organize the community against local racketeers he little realizes would-be father-in-law Dollar Bill is one of them. Bill meanwhile has problems of his own: A vicious white mob from lower Manhattan is muscling in on his action, and bullets are about to fly.

Overloaded with heart, strong moments, and Ulmer's speedy direction, MOON OVER HARLEM was shot in just in four days for $8,000. The film packs lots of action, romance, tragedy, music, dancing, and comedy into it's brief running time. The cast includes 20 chorus girls, a 46-member choir, and a 60-piece orchestra. Jazz legend Sidney Bechet appears in the opening wedding scene.

Poster

Theatrical Release: 1939

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Image Entertainment / All-Day Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

NOTE: As of this writing the DVD cover on Amazon has not been updated to the new one above, but we have been informed that the one shown here is the one you will receive.

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Image Entertainment / All-Day Entertainment  - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:08:30 
Video 1:33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.48 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Image Entertainment / All-Day Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:


DVD Release Date: October 4th, 2005
Extra thick Keep Case with two openings and three disc holders
Chapters: 12
 

 

 

Comments:

Not one of the weakest transfers in the box - but THE weakest. It borders on unwatchable, and only those historically keen on the film will venture here. There certainly will not be a better print anywhere and  barring a full restoration - this is it. the extras are as campy as the film and continue to embellish the man's legendary status. there was never a director like Edgar G. Ulmer.

Gary W. Tooze

 





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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Image Entertainment / All-Day Entertainment Home Video - Region 0 - NTSC





 

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