EIFF Review: Edgar G. Ulmer - The Man Off-Screen

Filed under: Reviews

Knowing little about Ulmer, I ventured out on a cold Sunday afternoon for this doc about the supposed King of the B's, a man from Europe who made American movies. Featuring lots of interview subjects including Peter Bogdanovitch, Roger Corman, and Wim Wenders, just about the only person who doesn't have a part on screen is Ulmer himself. He is, after all, The Man Off-Screen. We do hear his voice on occasion though.

This is a nice little doc about an enigmatic man, even to his family. Apparently conflicted about his artistic sensibilities and the pulpy nature of his work, he tried to do both well, he tried to do it often. IMDb.com reports that he directed about 50 films, the last one in 1964. I checked the list and I'm sure that I haven't seen any of them. Judging from the clips that they showed in The Man Off-Screen, I would say that he had probably the same enthusiasm that Ed Wood did... and a little bit of talent, too. That's probably why he is remembered so fondly for creating some memorable works. If I ever see Black Cat in the TV Guide, I might just have to stay up late to watch it.

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