I Wake Up Screaming (1941)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  31 October 1941 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 2,538 users  
Reviews: 73 user | 27 critic

Why is Inspector Ed Cornell trying to railroad Frankie Christopher for the murder of model Vicky Lynn?


(as Bruce Humberstone)


(screen play), (novel)
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Complete credited cast:
Laird Cregar ...
William Gargan ...
Cyril Ring ...
Morris Ankrum ...
Assistant District Attorney
Frank Orth ...
Cemetery Caretaker
Gregory Gaye ...
May Beatty ...
Lady Handel (as Mae Beatty)


Promoter Frankie Christopher, being grilled by police in the murder of model Vicky Lynn, recalls in flashback: First meeting her as a waitress, Frankie decides to parlay her beauty into social acceptance and a lucrative career. He succeeds only too well: she's on the eve of deserting him for Hollywood...when someone kills her. Now Frankie gets the feeling that Inspector Ed Cornell is determined to pin the killing on him and only him. He's right. And the only one he can turn to for help is Jill, the victim's sister, who's been cool toward him... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

31 October 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hot Spot  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Two famous melodies are heard in the Cyril J. Mockridge background score: "Over the Rainbow" (music by Harold Arlen, lyrics, not sung here, by E.Y. Harburg) from The Wizard of Oz (1939), and Alfred Newman's theme from Street Scene (1931). See more »


During the nightclub scene, Frankie removes a price tag from Vicky's glove that wasn't in previous shots. See more »


Ed Cornell: What she meant we'll never know. It's what she said that counts.
See more »


Referenced in Good Dick (2008) See more »


The Things I Love
Music and lyrics by Harold Barlow and Lewis Harris
Based on "Melody," Op. 42, No.3
Written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Sung by Carole Landis
See more »

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User Reviews

Who Killed Vicki?
2 October 2013 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

When the model Vicky Lynn (Carole Landis) is found murdered in her apartment in New York, the promoter of sports Frankie Christopher (Victor Mature) becomes the prime suspect of Inspector Ed Cornell (Laird Cregar) and is brought to the precinct for interrogatory. Christopher discloses how he promoted the career of Vicky when she was a waitress after making a bet with his friends Robin Ray (Alan Mowbray) and Larry Evans (Allyn Joslyn). After reaching the stardom, Vicky tells Christopher that she would leave him to go to Hollywood and on the next day, she was killed. Ed Cornell insists that Christopher is the killer and frames him, and Christopher can only have the support of Vicky's sister, Jill Lynn (Betty Grable), who has fallen in love with him. Who Killed Vicki?

"I Wake Up Screaming" is a film-noir with a story of unrequited love and obsession and "Over the Rainbow" as the music theme (after "The Wizard of Oz" of two years before). Laird Cregar is scary in the role of Inspector Ed Cornell and the final twist surprises and is well resolved. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Quem Matou Vicki?" ("Who Killed Vicki")

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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