I Wake Up Screaming (1941)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  31 October 1941 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
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)
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Glass Key (1942)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

During the campaign for reelection, the crooked politician Paul Madvig decides to clean up his past, refusing the support of the gangster Nick Varna and associating to the respectable ... See full summary »

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, Brian Donlevy
Road House (1948)
Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A night club owner becomes infatuated with a torch singer and frames his best friend/manager for embezzlement when the chanteuse falls in love with him.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Ida Lupino, Celeste Holm, Richard Widmark
Phantom Lady (1944)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A beautiful secretary risks her life to try to find the elusive woman who may prove her boss didn't murder his selfish wife.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Franchot Tone, Ella Raines, Alan Curtis
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A promising classical musician finds his life poisoned by a music hall dancer -- and by the strange gaps in his memory.

Director: John Brahm
Stars: Laird Cregar, Linda Darnell, George Sanders
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An ex-bomber pilot is suspected of murdering his unfaithful wife.

Director: George Marshall
Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, William Bendix
Fallen Angel (1945)
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A slick con man arrives in a small town looking to make some money, but soon gets more than he bargained for.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Alice Faye, Dana Andrews, Linda Darnell
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When hired killer Philip Raven shoots a blackmailer and his beautiful female companion dead, he's is paid off in marked bills by his treasonous employer who is working with foreign spies.

Director: Frank Tuttle
Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, Robert Preston
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After years in prison, Max promises revenge on his brothers for their betrayal. His lover Irene and memories of his past yield him a broader perspective.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Susan Hayward, Richard Conte
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Secretary tries to help her boss, who is framed for a murder.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Lucille Ball, Clifton Webb, William Bendix
Whirlpool (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A woman secretly suffering from kleptomania is hypnotized in an effort to cure her condition. Soon afterwards, she is found at the scene of a murder with no memory of how she got there and seemingly no way to prove her innocence.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Gene Tierney, Richard Conte, José Ferrer
Kiss of Death (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

With his law-breaking lifestyle in the past, an ex-con, along with his family, attempt to start a new life, knowing a betrayed someone from the past is bound to see otherwise.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Victor Mature, Brian Donlevy, Coleen Gray
The Lodger (1944)
Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A landlady suspects her new lodger is Jack the Ripper.

Director: John Brahm
Stars: Laird Cregar, Merle Oberon, George Sanders


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  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Elisha Cook Jr. who played " Harry Williams" - the actual killer in this film also played another "Harry" in The Big Sleep (1946) - playing Harry Jones See more »


When Cornell asks Christopher for a lift he tells him to drop him at 58th and Madison.The car pulls up in front of brownstone apartments. There are only stores on 58th and Madison in NYC, no brownstones. See more »


Robin Ray: Women are all alike!
Larry Evans: For Pete's sake, what difference does that make? You've got to have them, they're standard equipment.
See more »


Referenced in Good Dick (2008) See more »


Street Scene
Music by Alfred Newman
Played over main titles, then heard as background music throughout the movie
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Nobody Wakes Up Screaming In This Film
5 January 2005 | by (Flushing, NY) – See all my reviews

Model Vicky Lynn is found murdered in her apartment and the police question the logical suspect, promoter (and slight love interest) Frankie Christopher who was the primary force who got Vicky her status. Vicky was a waitress in a diner who was noticed by Frankie (and two of his buddies- columnist Larry Evans and ham actor Robin Ray) and given the right contacts in the modeling and ad industry and was set to leave for Hollywood (and dump Frankie in the process) right before she was killed. Jill, Vicky's sister, is also questioned and while she seems to be protecting Frankie for some reason, she claims a large foreboding man was stalking her only to find out it's Ed Cornell, the police inspector, who becomes obsessed with the case and getting Frankie in the electric chair for some strange reason. Jill eventually begins to fall for Frankie and gives him a letter he wrote to Vicky in a fit of anger which Cornell swipes from him, but Jill helps Frankie escape. Frankie now tries to hide himself in New York from the police (especially Cornell) while trying with Jill to uncover Vicky's murderer. Great movie highlighted by the show stealing performance by Cregar (in probably his best role) as the sadistic and crazed Cornell. Mature, Grable, and Landis all give standout performances for their careers in this film as well. Humberstone's directing is the best it ever was with plenty of odd camera angles and surprises which the screenwriters gave plenty of. I still wonder why pieces of Over the Rainbow were used in the score. Great twist ending. Rating, 9.

17 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I don't buy it. ashogo
Laird Cregar ProfessorFate
Title fredcdobbsjr
vic mature kmck2002
goof shadowli
Deleted musical number brendangcarroll
Discuss I Wake Up Screaming (1941) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: