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Vicki (Fox Film Noir) (1953)

Jeanne Crain , Jean Peters , Harry Horner  |  NR |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Vicki (Fox Film Noir) + Dangerous Crossing + I Wake Up Screaming (Fox Film Noir)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jeanne Crain, Jean Peters, Elliott Reid, Richard Boone, Max Showalter
  • Directors: Harry Horner
  • Writers: Dwight Taylor, Leo Townsend, Steve Fisher
  • Producers: Leonard Goldstein
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Mono, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: August 29, 2006
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FKO3VW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,016 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Vicki (Fox Film Noir)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary by film historian Foster Hirsch
  • Poster art gallery
  • Behind-the-scenes gallery
  • Interactive pressbook gallery
  • Film noir trailers

Editorial Reviews

The portrait under the opening credits conjures up memories of Laura, although this 1953 Fox noir quickly reveals its real roots: it's a remake of the studio's marvelous 1941 thriller I Wake Up Screaming, a movie sometimes tagged as the first true film noir. Once it gets underway, Vicki demonstrates how short it falls of its predecessors. A famous model (Jean Peters) is murdered, leading a weirdly obsessive detective (Richard Boone) to hound her press agent (Elliott Reid) about the case. The dead woman also had a sister (Jeanne Crain), who is so dull she makes you regret which sibling got killed. The flashback-heavy story plods along in a virtually suspense-free zone, enlivened only by some extremely offbeat casting decisions. Elliott Reid (Jane Russell's suitor in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) has a lighter-than-air quality that makes him an odd but entertaining choice as romantic leading man, Max Showalter (billed here as Casey Adams) brings his frog-eyed energy as a society columnist, and future TV mogul Aaron Spelling pops up as a hotel desk clerk. As for Richard Boone, he needed some age and a few more wrinkles before he would become the delicious character actor he turned into later. And so we are left with a whodunit more sleep-inducing than intriguing. --Robert Horton

Product Description

Three more film noir titles from the Fox vaults. Fourteen Hours features Grace Kelly's film debut. Vicki is a loose remake of I Wake Up Screaming. Those that have been collecting the series should continue to do so. Good catalog titles.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
"Vicki" is the second film adaptation of Steve Fisher's novel "I Wake Up Screaming". The first was an A-list film made 12 years earlier, released in 1942, that retained the novel's title. 1942's "I Wake Up Screaming" starred Victor Mature as Vicki's publicity man Frankie Christopher and featured Betty Grable in her first non-musical role as Jil Lynn. 1953's "Vicki" is a moderately budgeted affair without high-power stars. It is perhaps marginally film noir but bland overall. "Vicki" has a more extensive flashback structure than the 1942 film, which awkwardly overloads the first part of the film. That is not from the book, and Dwight Taylor is credited as screenwriter on both movies. "Vicki" seems to have been adapted from the earlier film rather than from Fisher's novel.

When famous model Vicki Lynn (Jean Peters) is found murdered in her New York apartment, gruff police detective Ed Cornell (Richard Boone) insists on taking the case. Miss Lynn left a string of admirers and sponsors high and dry when she decided to try her luck in Hollywood, so there is no shortage of suspects: Her jilted boyfriend, actor Robin Ray (Alex D'Arcy). Society columnist Larry Evans (Casey Adams), who made her the toast of the town. And publicity man Steve Christopher (Elliot Reid), who engineered Vicki's rapid rise to the darling of café society. But detective Cornell decides that Christopher is the guilty party and obsessively harasses the man, even badgering Vicki's sympathetic sister Jill (Jeanne Craine), who doubts Christopher's guilt.

"Vicki" is not a bad film, but it suffers by comparison to its predecessor. It lacks the stars' charisma of "I Wake Up Screaming" as well that film's menacing tone and psychosexual subtext.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Fox film noir classic August 4, 2006
This movie deserves a watching. Basically it is a remke of the better "I Wake Up Screaming." Richard Boone is very good as the cop after a murderer. Jean Peters and Carl Betz are also very good. Look for Aaron Spelling in the movie. The twist at the end make this one worthwhile.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Deja Vu All Over Again September 16, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
In a nutshell, this remake of "I Wake Up Screaming" doesn't work whether you saw the original or this is your first time exposed to the story. The film is saddled with a blah cast and uninspired direction. The film's lone redeeming point is Richard Boone's account of dogged police detective Ed Cornell. Alas, that even suffers when compared to the masterful turn by Laird Cregar in "Screaming". This is by no means a bad film just an ordinary one. If it popped up on TCM you probably wouldn't be inclined to change the channel.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
About twenty minutes into the noir film Vicki - just released on DVD - I started to think that the story seemed familiar. In fact it is! The film happens to be an almost scene-by-scene carbon copy of 1942's I Wake Up Screaming. The original starred Betty Grable and Carole Landis, and was what I consider to be one of the most impressive 40's noir films ever made.

Again utilizing flashback techniques, the film tells the tale of who killed the glamorous and fickle Vicki Lynn just as she was about to abandon the men who had made her a fashion model, for a job in Hollywood. In this version Jean Peters plays Vicki Lynn and Jeanne Crain plays her stenographer sister Jill. Elliot Reid plays Steve Christopher who along with Jill tries to uncover the mystery behind who really murdered Vicki.

The actors in this version are all pretty good, although Crain and Reid certainly don't have the hot-button chemistry that existed in the earlier version between Grable and Victor Mature. Richard Boone, who plays the detective - as Laird Cregar did - is also excellent but he leaves little doubt in his performance that this man is immorally nuts. He violently and cruelly abuses Reid's poor press agent and he mopes around the café at night where Vicki used to work.

Obviously subtly wasn't on the agenda of this remake. Some scenes have been expanded on and some have been edited out all together. But most unfortunate is the type of downsizing of the sets and the exterior locations. The sets for this remake are smaller and less interesting, the lighting is mostly undistinguished and the scenes requiring crowds or location work - nightclubs, the swimming pool and certain street scenes - are eliminated or reduced to nothing.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars i wake up screaming, take 2 January 17, 2007
I Wake Up Screaming must be some book. Not content with making a single film adaptation of it in 1941, 20th Century Fox gave it a second go-around twelve years later with this picture, now called Vicki. Regardless of whether anyone actually wakes up screaming (they don't), I think I like the original title better, if only for its pulpy luridness. Besides, the single word Vicki recalls noir siblings Gilda and Laura, which are quite simply in a different class (more on that later).

Jean Peters is no Rita Hayworth. Neither is she Gene Tierney. Hell, she's no Carole Landis, who plays the same role in Vicki's previous Screaming incarnation.

Not that this picture is terrible. Sure, it lacks Landis' sex appeal, Betty Grable's charm, and Edward Cronjager's dramatic noir cinematography of I Wake Up Screaming. Otherwise, it adheres so closely to the original, you would have thought Gus Van Sant directed it (indeed, whole shots, framing, and long passages of dialogue are copied exact - Dwight Taylor gets sole screenwriting credit on both pictures). And the original isn't bad.

The titular Vicki is a cover girl print model discovered as a waitress in a cafeteria (she is first seen framed in the proverbial shop window, where she would like to stay in perpetuity - modeling is, after all, a business of objectification), on the fast track to stardom until her murder puts an end to all that. We revisit her rise to fame through the reminiscing (and police interrogations) of her sister (Jeanne Crain) and romantic suitors (principally Elliott Reid), all suspects in the crime. However, the eagerness with which a certain police lieutenant (Richard Boone, not as good as Laird I repeating myself?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the original
Any movie with Jean Peters and Jeanne Crain can't be all that bad but the original "I Wake Up Screaming" is better, mainly because it had a stronger male lead actor in it.
Published 5 months ago by LC
3.0 out of 5 stars One More Time
Steve wondered, wondered to himself since his position at that moment precluded saying anything out loud, anything he really wanted to say, when they, the coppers who were just... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Alfred Johnson
2.0 out of 5 stars Noir Wanna-Be
A pedestrian vehicle that is undermined even further by mediocre writing, uninspired directing, and lackluster acting, with the one exception being Richard Boone, who would have... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Harry O
2.0 out of 5 stars Low budget/Low Interest
I enjoyed " I wake up screaming", but this one reeks Low Budget from the settings to the entire cast. Read more
Published on February 22, 2011 by RJ from PH
4.0 out of 5 stars "When I put all my evidence together, I'll have you strapped in that...
This might be a remake of the superior Fox production "I Wake Up Screaming" (1941), but that doesn't stop 1953's VICKI from being a top-drawer noir title on it's own merits. Read more
Published on November 17, 2009 by Byron Kolln
5.0 out of 5 stars vicki
Interesting and tautly paced thriller. Jeanne Crain is good as the sister while Jean Peters is good as the title character. The atmosphere is tight throughout.
Published on September 13, 2009 by Karen P. Street
When comparing this movie to the earlier version, "I Wake Up Screaming", you'll certainly enjoy Victor Mature. Read more
Published on February 18, 2009 by Evelio Lecour
3.0 out of 5 stars Film Noir at its Most Stylish
The thing caught my attention about this film was how stylish it is. The use of shadows, the lighting, the composition of the scenes; everything about it has a beautiful sense that... Read more
Published on August 24, 2008 by Brian J Hay
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Not Outstanding
This is worth watching to pass time but it is not one of the greatest movies. A beautiful model is murdered (Jean Peters, once married to Howard Hughes in real life). Read more
Published on May 31, 2008 by R. Crane
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable movie; good ending
Richard Boone (the cop chasing after Vicki's murderer), is interesting to watch. Younger folks especially will be surprised at how the police are portrayed "way back when", and... Read more
Published on March 29, 2008 by Amazon Customer
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