The Film Chest has just announced its latest film restoration, legendary director Edgar G. Ulmer’s period-piece film noir, The Strange Woman. The street date for this latest HD restoration from 35mm film elements will be Apr. 29.
There is probably a film that needs to be made about Ulmer’s life, the love affair that nearly destroyed his Hollywood career (certainly changing it dramatically) and the films he made.
Plus throw in the circle of filmmakers he was intimate with and the lives of actors Tom Neal, Ann Savage and others from the period that he worked with and you have all the elements of a real page-turner. He had to overcome many obstacles and only after his death did the real genius of his filmmaking skills — style and atmosphere on a shoestring — get the full recognition that he deserved.
But that’s for another time. He was one of the first to embrace film noir with both Strange Illusion and one of the all time classics of the genre, Detour, both of which were released theatrically in 1945. These were very early in the cycle.
The following year he deftly blended the elements of film noir with a period tale starring Hedy Lamarr (who had just recently left MGM) as Jenny Hager, a beautiful young woman living in Bangor, Maine during the early 1800s who is from the “poor side of town.”
She uses her beauty, along with sex and seduction to gain status by landing a wealthy widower (Gene Lockhart) and then manipulates his weak-willed son (Louis Hayward) into doing away with him. Not satisfied with the wealth and power she has gained, she then unleashes her charms on her friend Meg’s (Hillary Brooke) fiancé, John Evered (George Sanders).
In archetypal film noir he, of course, cannot resist her — even though he is pretty sure that Jenny is out-and-out evil! She will, in time, do her best to kill both him and Meg, the woman who still loves him despite his betrayal.
To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report: DVD & Blu-ray Release Report