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Films of Edgar G. Ulmer (3 DVD Set)

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A Three DVD set of the Films of Edgar G. Ulmer! Edgar G. Ulmer apprenticed with F. W. Murnau to become a talented director in his own right and is remembered for his striking visual style. Blacklisted from the major Hollywood Studios he spent much of his career directing low-budget films on poverty row. This three disc set includes three features directed by Ulmer as well as eight short subjects that he worked on as director or art director. Disc One Includes: 1-a) DAMAGED LIVES (1933) The first feature Ulmer directed in North America. This film details the impact of a venereal disease on an otherwise happy couple. Shot in Hollywood for the Canadian Social Hygiene Council, it was premiered in Toronto. At last the complete version. 69 minutes 1-b) DAMAGED LIVES - SUPPLEMENT In this lecture film that followed Damaged Lives, Dr. Gordon Bates discusses the female reproductive system as well as the venereal diseases gonorrhea and syphilis, their transmission and their horrific effects if untreated. 21 minutes 1-c) ANOTHER TO CONQUER (1941) A story depicting Native Americans’ struggle against Tuberculosis. 22 minutes Disc Two Includes: 2-a) FROM NINE TO NINE (1936) This very rare Ulmer film features Ruth Roland in her last role alongside Roland Drew in a mystery about murder, blackmail and stolen jewels . 62 minutes 2-b) Three fiction shorts teaching about Tuberculosis prevention. CLOUD IN THE SKY - 19 minutes THEY DO COME BACK - 16 minutes GOODBYE, MR. GERM - 14 minutes Disc Three Includes: 3-a) COSSACKS IN EXILE (1938) A screen adaptation of the Ukrainian Operetta of the same name. 83 minutes 3-b) Three short subjects! (THE ARMY HIT KIT) PISTOL PACKIN’ MAMA (1943) with Ann Corio - color, 7 minutes WAY DOWN SOUTH (1930) with Giuseppe Creatore and his Band - 10 minutes LET MY PEOPLE LIVE (1938) Sponsored by the National Tuberculosis Association - 13 minutes Total Running time 336 minutes

Product Details

  • Actors: Ruth Roland, Roland Drew, Doris Covert, Diane Sinclair, Lyman Williams
  • Directors: Edgar G. Ulmer
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Studio: Grapevine Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 18, 2014
  • Run Time: 336 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00ENLE8U0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,080 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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By David Anthony on November 11, 2013
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Grapevine Video must be congratulated on producing this three-disc set of 11 rarely seen feature films and documentaries of Edgar G. Ulmer. Several of these have not been released to video before. The features are a VD film, Damaged Lives, a interesting little murder mystery, From Nine to Nine and the operetta Cossacks in Exile. The docos include five he made for the National Tuberculosis mob, including an interesting one aimed at Native Americans, and two for the Army. The films appear a little creaky today, partly because of the poor production values UImer was dealing with and partly because of the age of the material, but they are uncut gems from a distinctly interesting filmmaker whose social conscience imbued all his work and his craftsmanship lifted from the banal. I dare say we are lucky these have survived. I hope Grapevine Video unearths more such gems. I will be checking their website regularly for a second and maybe third volume to reveal more to us about Edgar G. Ulmer's broader body of work. Thanks.
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This is a clear "your mileage may vary" purchase. I am a huge fan and student of Edgar G Ulmer's work. And I am a completist. 60% of this three disc set, our little short documentaries about such fun subjects as tuberculosis, syphilis, etc there also are a few rare miscellaneous shorts, a fairly forgettable low-budget murder mystery, and a filmed Ukrainian opera (Actually my favorite thing on the set! Very entertaining story, and I like the music, much to my surprise).

If you're a complete is like me, and/or a student of film, especially how to do low-budget filmmaking, I think this is a very important set. However, keep in mind, that a good portion of this if not all of it is available for free online at places like archive.org, and YouTube. Certainly the public service short documentaries are. But I like to support people who aggregate and make available this kind of material and keep artists like Mr. Ulmer alive. Some of his better work (and better known) such as Detour ( arguably his best work, and one of the greatest works of film noir ever) & Strange Illusion, are available for prime members on Amazon instant video.

And of course, his first & pretty much last higher budget film, The Black Cat for Universal, is almost without question the best Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi movie ever.

Unfortunately, he sabotaged his career by having an affair with the wife of the nephew of Carl Laemmle head of Universal Studios (Clearly an affair of The heart, as he later married her, and stayed married to her for the rest of their lives. She was instrumental on many of his films, I forget in what capacity), which effectively got him blacklisted from the A-list of Hollywood studios for the rest of his career and life.
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