Strange Illusion (1945)

80 or 84 mins | Drama | 31 March 1945

Director:

Edgar G. Ulmer

Writer:

Adele Comandini

Producer:

Leon Fromkess

Cinematographer:

Philip Tannura

Production Designers:

Paul Palmentola, George Van Marter

Production Company:

Producers Releasing Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of the film was First Illusion . It was also reviewed by some sources as Out of the Night , the title under which the film was copyrighted. According to HR news items, Fritz Rotter was paid $10,000 for the original story upon which the film is based. HR news items also state that director Joseph H. Lewis was once assigned to the film. In an interview published in modern sources, director Edgar Ulmer claims that Eugen Shuftan was the uncredited director of photography of the ... More Less

The working title of the film was First Illusion . It was also reviewed by some sources as Out of the Night , the title under which the film was copyrighted. According to HR news items, Fritz Rotter was paid $10,000 for the original story upon which the film is based. HR news items also state that director Joseph H. Lewis was once assigned to the film. In an interview published in modern sources, director Edgar Ulmer claims that Eugen Shuftan was the uncredited director of photography of the film. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
17 Feb 1945.
---
Daily Variety
12 Feb 45
p. 3.
Film Daily
20 Feb 45
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Dec 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Aug 44
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Aug 44
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Aug 44
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Sep 44
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Feb 45
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
17 Feb 45
p. 2318.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Based on an orig story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Supv film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Master of properties
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus score composed and cond by
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
First Illusion
Out of the Night
Release Date:
31 March 1945
Production Date:
22 September--late October 1944
Copyright Claimant:
PRC Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
31 March 1945
Copyright Number:
LP13567
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
80 or 84
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10544
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

After his father, Judge Albert Cartwright, dies in a mysterious train accident, college student Paul Cartwright is haunted by nightmares in which a sinister stranger claims to be his new father. While on a fishing trip with Dr. Vincent, an old family friend, Paul receives a letter from his deceased father, telling him that it is now his responsibility to guard his young, naïve mother Virginia from unscrupulous men. Paul rushes home, where he learns that Virginia has begun seeing Brett Curtis, a businessman new to the area. Later, Paul faints after his young sister Dorothy shows him a new bracelet given to her by Brett, which looks just like the one she received in his nightmare. The next day, Paul goes through his father's legal files and notes the similarities between Brett and Claude Barrington, a murderer and child molester who has eluded prosecution. Paul's suspicions about Brett prove correct, as Brett is Barrington, and, having killed the judge, now plans to marry Virginia as a final act of revenge against the jurist. Worried about Paul's interference with his plans, Brett schemes to place the young man under the care of Professor Muhlbach, Brett's therapist and accomplice. Recognizing Brett and Muhlbach's alliance, Paul agrees to be treated by the psychiatrist at his sanitarium, in hopes of uncovering evidence against them, as well as delaying his mother's marriage. In the meantime, Brett convinces Virginia to break her promise to Paul and elope with him, knowing that Muhlbach plans to kill Paul once their nuptials are announced. Vincent arrives at the sanitarium just as Muhlbach is about to push Paul off the ... +


After his father, Judge Albert Cartwright, dies in a mysterious train accident, college student Paul Cartwright is haunted by nightmares in which a sinister stranger claims to be his new father. While on a fishing trip with Dr. Vincent, an old family friend, Paul receives a letter from his deceased father, telling him that it is now his responsibility to guard his young, naïve mother Virginia from unscrupulous men. Paul rushes home, where he learns that Virginia has begun seeing Brett Curtis, a businessman new to the area. Later, Paul faints after his young sister Dorothy shows him a new bracelet given to her by Brett, which looks just like the one she received in his nightmare. The next day, Paul goes through his father's legal files and notes the similarities between Brett and Claude Barrington, a murderer and child molester who has eluded prosecution. Paul's suspicions about Brett prove correct, as Brett is Barrington, and, having killed the judge, now plans to marry Virginia as a final act of revenge against the jurist. Worried about Paul's interference with his plans, Brett schemes to place the young man under the care of Professor Muhlbach, Brett's therapist and accomplice. Recognizing Brett and Muhlbach's alliance, Paul agrees to be treated by the psychiatrist at his sanitarium, in hopes of uncovering evidence against them, as well as delaying his mother's marriage. In the meantime, Brett convinces Virginia to break her promise to Paul and elope with him, knowing that Muhlbach plans to kill Paul once their nuptials are announced. Vincent arrives at the sanitarium just as Muhlbach is about to push Paul off the roof, and he and Paul then escape to an abandoned farm near the sanitarium, similar to the one in Paul's nightmare. There, they find pieces of the truck that was involved in the judge's train accident, which Vincent takes to Armstrong, the district attorney. A police investigation uncovers the rest of the truck, as well as fingerprints matching Brett's. Realizing that the police are on to them, Muhlbach orders Brett to meet with him at a golf course, but the molester is diverted by his attraction for Dorothy. Meanwhile, Paul learns that Brett and Dorothy have gone alone to the family's summer cottage, so he races there with his friends, George and Lydia. They arrive just in time to save Dorothy from Brett's lecherous advances. Brett knocks Paul unconscious and grabs a knife off the boathouse's wall, but then is shot and killed by the police before he can inflict any further damage. In turn, Muhlbach is captured by the police, ending Paul's nightmares for good. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.