I Wake Up Screaming
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- Commentary by film historian Eddie Muller
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- Poster gallery
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Top Customer Reviews
When model and aspiring actress Vicky Lynn (Carole Landis) is murdered, the police are quick to blame Frankie Christopher (Victor Mature), a fight promoter who met Vicky when she was a waitress, introduced her to all the right people, and managed her ascent to glamour girl -until she left him for Hollywood. Vicky's down-to-earth sister Jill (Betty Grable) disapproved of her career choice but doesn't want to believe Frankie responsible for her death. The Assistant District Attorney thinks early on that the creepy switchboard operator (Elisha Cook, Jr.) at the Lynns' apartment building is the killer, but sadistic police detective Ed Cornell (Laird Cregar) won't let up on Frankie, constantly harassing and threatening him, leaving Frankie little choice but to find the killer himself.
"I Wake Up Screaming" opens with an eyecatching credit sequence of names in lights sprawled across a dark cityscape. That got my attention.Read more ›
The movie begins with as well-known New York sports promoter Frankie Christopher (Victor Mature) is hauled down to the New York City police headquarters, a prime suspect in the murder of beautiful café waitress Vicky Lynn (Carole Landis) who Frankie has since helped become a flourishing model and prospective actress.
Of course, Frankie denies having anything to do with the crime but the massive detective squad commander Ed Cornell (Laird Cregar) is totally convinced if his guilt. Meanwhile, in the adjoining room, Vicky's sister Jill (Betty Grable) is also being questioned. She recently came to New York to stay with Vicky as a type of live-in maid and she was the first person to discover the body and saw Frankie standing over it.
As both Jill and Frankie recount their stories - in brilliantly edited flashbacks - we are introduced to a number of supporting suspects: There's a manipulative and self-serving journalist Larry Evans (Allyn Joslyn), aging actor Robin Ray (Alan Mowbray), and the creepy, sinister switchboard operator William Harrison (Elisha Cook Jr.) who works in Vicky's hotel and who packs Jill's luggage up without being asked.
Jill and Frankie are soon released. Jill just wants to forget the whole thing and move on, but Frankie pursues Jill, all the while maintaining his innocence.Read more ›
When previewed, this film (then entitled Hot Spot) was given the thumbs down by the audience - they thought they were in for a Grable musical treat. Zanuck and director Bruce Humberstone, re-edited the film and added new key scenes, working day and night to have it ready for its premiere. Reverted to its original title, it soon became a success and is a highly rated movie in its genre.
Laird Cregar steals the acting honours as the sinister detective investigating Landis's murder. And that excellent supporting actor, Elisha Cook Jr., is one of the "red herrings" under audience suspicion.
Cameraman Edward Cronjager does much to add to the atmosphere of this classic mystery with some fine low-key lighting and imaginative photography.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
EXCELLENT! I love "film noir" and this 1941 oldie but goldie is amongst the best! I liked every single minute of it and couldn't figure out the whole puzzle until the last... Read morePublished 23 days ago by Maciej
Film noir at its best. You don't need to read my review -- any noir film fan will know this title. It came packaged nicely and the DVD ran just fine.Published 4 months ago by Kathryn McCauley
Another great film noir. The angle shots are worthy of posters galore!Published 4 months ago by Evelyne-valerie N. D. Arnal
I saw only half of this movie on a lazy Saturday morning. The station played it later that same day and I watched it from beginning to end! What a movie. Read morePublished 4 months ago by J. R. Jones
One of my all time favorite film noir. Great cinematography, And Gable was great without singing and dancing,Published 5 months ago by Barbara Forman-Mack
I loved Betty Grable when I was growing up. So I like anything that she is in. So different than the movies now but enjoyed it.Published 6 months ago by Bobbie W. Marshall
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