- BONUS FEATURE: Includes Innocent Party (The Perils Of Social Disease)
- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 1 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: October 19, 2004
- Originally Released: 1933
- Label: Alpha Video
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Description by OLDIES.com:
The horrors, both physical and mental, of venereal disease are the subject of Edgar G. Ulmer's lesson in hygiene, Damaged Lives.
A rich young man catches syphilis and passes it onto his wife as the result of a wanton night on the town with a rich floozy. Far more mature than other VD exploitation films of the day, Damaged Lives
uses its examination of sordid sexual situations amid palatial art deco splendor to examine a careless society unresponsive to the inherent dangers of unprotected sexual intercourse.
After years of neglect, Edgar G. Ulmer is quickly being recognized as one of the most important figures in the first half century of filmmaking. The first director to pair Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff on screen (in Universal's The Black Cat), Ulmer redefined nearly every genre with his dazzling visual poetry (including his famous pans and tracking shots) and by ingraining astute, complex and ambiguous psychological insights into even the most obvious pulp material.
Young Donny (Lyman Williams) is a rising executive who makes the mistake of cheating on his fiancée (Diane Sinclair) with an attractive blonde (Charlotte Miriam). Some time later Donny gets a call from the blonde with some very personal, very bad news (she has VD, and probably so does he). She kills herself. Donny has a hard time coming to terms with the horrible facts, especially since his wife is pregnant and probably also infected. A doctor (Jason Robards, Sr.) tries to get Don to accept his condition by taking him on a "shock-filled" tour of a disease ward. He passes out. His wife hallucinates when she hears the news. With time, perhaps they can rebuild their lives...
Filmed in 1933, this cautionary tale was not released in America until 1937, at which time it was a big hit. As one of he first pictures by fledgling director Edgar G. Ulmer (DETOUR, THE BLACK CAT) it's far from the hysterical camp that aficionados of roadshow fare like REEFER MADNESS might hope for. Aside from a few florid touches, It's a nicely photographed, sensitively handled look at this "unspeakable" malady (syphilis) and its effects on a series of people who contract it. Ulmer loosely adapted the story from the 1913 stage play DAMAGED GOODS by Eugene Brieux.