Edgar G. Ulmer: Detour on Poverty Row

Overview

Edgar G. Ulmer: Detour on Poverty Row illuminates the work of this under-appreciated film auteur through 21 new essays penned by a range of scholars from around the globe. Ulmer, an immigrant to Hollywood who fell from grace in Tinseltown after only one studio film, became one of the reigning directors of Poverty Row B-movies. Structured in four sections, Part I examines various contexts important to Ulmer's career, such as his work at the Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC), and his work in exploitation films ...

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Edgar G. Ulmer: Detour on Poverty Row

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Overview

Edgar G. Ulmer: Detour on Poverty Row illuminates the work of this under-appreciated film auteur through 21 new essays penned by a range of scholars from around the globe. Ulmer, an immigrant to Hollywood who fell from grace in Tinseltown after only one studio film, became one of the reigning directors of Poverty Row B-movies. Structured in four sections, Part I examines various contexts important to Ulmer's career, such as his work at the Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC), and his work in exploitation films and ethnic cinema. Part II analyzes Ulmer's film noirs, featuring an emphasis on Detour (1945) and Murder Is My Beat (1955). Part III covers a variety of Ulmer's individual films, ranging from Bluebeard (1944) and Carnegie Hall (1947) to The Man from Planet X (1951) and Daughter of Dr. Jekyll (1957). Part IV concludes the volume with a case study of The Black Cat (1934), offering three different analyses of Ulmer's landmark horror film.

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Editorial Reviews

Michael H. Price
Gary D. Rhodes, a master at making out-of-the-way topics both accessible and appealing, performs a grand service with this savvy forum on the strange and necessary filmmaking career of Edgar G. Ulmer. From the martyred brilliance of The Black Cat through the unlikely finery of Bluebeard and Detour—with his own tangle of detours into ethnic cinema, symphonic soap opera, and drive-in schlockery—Ulmer comes into view for the first time as a compleat artist, perhaps the most influential forebear of the New Century's independent-cinema movement.
Tony Earnshaw
Few filmmakers have been as criminally underrated as Edgar G. Ulmer, doyen of Hollywood's more modest studios and an artist of rare, luminous talent. Four decades after his death his unique and idiosyncratic oeuvre receives proper and rightful consideration in Edgar G. Ulmer: Detour on Poverty Row—a book that probes into the genius behind Ulmer's shoestring offerings and finds it lurking there, in abundance.
Cineaste - Bill Krohn
These authors have interesting and sometimes challenging ideas and write about them well. Rhode's volume shows the hand of a strong editor with strong convictions, which are laid out in his introduction.
J. P. Telotte
This volume fills an important gap in film studies, offering many insights into the work of a key auteur, the understudied Edgar G. Ulmer. Using Ulmer's many contributions as a lens, it shows the roles of the small independent film company and independent filmmaker in the Hollywood studio era. By taking us through Ulmer's work directing ethnic and minority films, his creative producing practices, and his signature efforts at fashioning a visual style that invariably transcended low budgets and creaky narratives, Gary Rhodes and his contributors have provided one of the most revealing assessments to date of alternative film practices in an era largely dominated by a classical narrative aesthetic. Detour on Poverty Row is a significant contribution to film history.
Cineaste
These authors have interesting and sometimes challenging ideas and write about them well. Rhode's volume shows the hand of a strong editor with strong convictions, which are laid out in his introduction.
— Bill Krohn
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739125687
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/21/2009
  • Pages: 350
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary D. Rhodes is a lecturer in film studies at Queen's University in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Table of Contents Chapter 2 Dedication Chapter 3 Introduction Part 4 I: Texts and Contexts Chapter 5 1. Edgar G. Ulmer: The Low-End Independent FilmmakerPar Excellence Chapter 6 2. Edgar G. Ulmer: The Godfather of Sexploitation? Chapter 7 3. At the Border: Edgar G. Ulmer's The Singing Blacksmith (1938) and Cossacks in Exile (1939) Part 9 II: Film Noir Chapter 10 4. Dead Fathers and Other Detours: Ulmer's Noir Chapter 11 5. See Spot: The Parametric Film Noirs of Edgar G. Ulmer Chapter 12 6. Even the Pictures Lie: The Unreliable Narrator in the Film Noirs of Edgar G. Ulmer Chapter 13 7. Edgar G. Ulmer's Homicidal Noirs: Psychosis and Possession in Strange Illusion, The Strange Woman, and Bluebeard Chapter 14 8. All Wrong Turns: Tracking Subjectivity in Detour (1945) Chapter 15 9. Masculinity and Masochism in Detour (1945) Part 16 III: Individual Films Chapter 17 10. Puppets and Painting: Authorship and Artistry in Edgar G. Ulmer's Bluebeard Chapter 18 11. Beyond Citizen Kane: Ruthless as Radical Psychobiography Chapter 19 12. "The Gateway to America": Assimilation and Art in Carnegie Hall (1947) Chapter 20 13. Meeting The Man From Planet X (1951) Chapter 21 14. Nothing to Hyde: Reading The Daughter of Dr. Jekyll (1957) Chapter 22 15. Murder, Family, and Weird Science:The Amazing Transparent Man Chapter 23 16. "A Sword and Sandal Gone Screwy" or, Edgar G. Ulmer's Journey to the Lost City—L'Atlantide Part 24 IV: Case Study—The Black Cat (1934) Chapter 25 17. Bauhaus of Horrors: Edgar G. Ulmer and The Black Cat Chapter 26 18 The Devil's Contract: The Satisfaction of Self-Destruction in Edgar G. Ulmer's The Black Cat Chapter 27 19 "Tremonstrous" Hopes and "Oke" Results: The 1934 Reception of The Black Cat

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