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Edgar G Ulmer: The Man Off-Screen [DVD] [2004]

Michael Palm's documentary on low-budget auteur Edgar G. Ulmer has been given a handsome presentation in this disc from Kino Video. The original footage for Edgar G. Ulmer: The Man Off-Screen has been letterboxed at the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1, while the clips from Ulmer's films are shown in the full-screen ratio of 1.33:1. The image quality for the new material is quite good, especially the studio-shot interviews (done, in true Ulmer fashion, in front of a back-projection screen), though the quality of the film clips is quite variable. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo, and the quality is very good except for some archival recordings of interviews with Ulmer conducted by Peter Bogdanovich; the disc includes optional English language subtitles for these recordings. The film is primarily in English, though some of the interviews are in German, with burned-in English subtitles. As a bonus, this edition includes a filmography of Ulmer's work, a gallery of still photos, and a complete feature film from the director's oeuvre, Isle Of Forgotten Sins (aka Monsoon), though unfortunately it's not one of Ulmer's better films and the source print is not in especially good shape. Still, it's a nice touch, and this is excellent viewing for film fans with an interest in the more obscure sidestreets of film history.

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    Edgar G. Ulmer: The Man Off-Screen
    Edgar G. Ulmer was one of the most fascinating figures of Hollywood's Golden Age. While Ulmer directed the occasional big-budget major studio film (most notably The Black Cat starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi and The Strange Woman with Hedy Lamarr), Ulmer was a maverick who valued his creative freedom and he most often worked for"Poverty Row studios, most notably PRC, where he was allowed to make films as he pleased as long as they were done fast and cheap. Ulmer made a handful of small masterpieces for the minor league studios, most notably Detour, The Naked Dawn, Bluebeard, and Ruthless, and he also directed several important Yiddish-language films as well as an early all African-American cast musical. However, Ulmer's own version of his life was often dotted with creative embellishment and stories that no one could verify (particularly pertaining to his early career in Germany), and despite his very real degree of ability and influence, much of Ulmer's story remains shrouded in uncertainty. Documentary filmmaker Michael Palm explores both the art and the illusion of this singular artist in Edgar G. Ulmer: The Man Off-Screen, which features interviews with some of Ulmer's more noted admirers (Peter Bogdanovich, Wim Wenders, Joe Dante), actors who worked with him (John Saxon, Ann Savage), and members of his family (Arianné Ulmer Cipes). ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Image coming soon
      Jimmy Lydon
    • Ann Savage
      Ann Savage
    • John Saxon
      John Saxon
    • William Schallert
      William Schallert
    • Peter Bogdanovich
      Peter Bogdanovich

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