IMDb > I Wake Up Screaming (1941)
I Wake Up Screaming
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I Wake Up Screaming (1941) More at IMDbPro »

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Dwight Taylor (screen play)
Steve Fisher (novel)
View company contact information for I Wake Up Screaming on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
31 October 1941 (USA) See more »
Why is Inspector Ed Cornell trying to railroad Frankie Christopher for the murder of model Vicky Lynn? Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Story of obsession, murder key movie in developing noir cycle See more (73 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Betty Grable ... Jill Lynn

Victor Mature ... Frankie Christopher

Carole Landis ... Vicky Lynn
Laird Cregar ... Ed Cornell
William Gargan ... Jerry MacDonald

Alan Mowbray ... Robin Ray
Allyn Joslyn ... Larry Evans

Elisha Cook Jr. ... Harry Williams

Chick Chandler ... Reporter
Cyril Ring ... Reporter
Morris Ankrum ... Assistant District Attorney

Charles Lane ... Keating--Florist
Frank Orth ... Cemetery Caretaker
Gregory Gaye ... Headwaiter
May Beatty ... Lady Handel (as Mae Beatty)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Brooks Benedict ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Edward Biby ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Stanley Blystone ... Detective (uncredited)
Wade Boteler ... Detective (uncredited)
John Breen ... Sidewalk Passerby (uncredited)
Ralph Brooks ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Russ Clark ... Policeman (uncredited)
Stanley Clements ... Newsboy (uncredited)
James Conaty ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Heinie Conklin ... Pedestrian Newspaper Buyer (uncredited)
Bob Cornell ... Reporter (uncredited)
Dorothy Dearing ... Girl at Table (uncredited)
Eddie Dunn ... Detective (uncredited)
Ralph Dunn ... Detective (uncredited)
Sarah Edwards ... Customer (uncredited)
Tom Ferrandini ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
James Flavin ... Detective (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Lady Handel's Party Guest (uncredited)
Jack Gargan ... Nightclub Waiter (uncredited)
Robert Haines ... Waiter (uncredited)
Stuart Hall ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
George Hickman ... Newsboy (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... Cab Driver (uncredited)

Frank McClure ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Pat McKee ... Ozinski - Newsman (uncredited)
Edward McWade ... Old Man at Library (uncredited)
Harold Miller ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Mike Morelli ... Fight Spectator (uncredited)
Philip Morris ... Detective (uncredited)
Forbes Murray ... Mr. Handel (uncredited)
William J. O'Brien ... Man Hosing Sidewalk (uncredited)
Albert Pollet ... Waiter (uncredited)
Dick Rich ... Detective (uncredited)
Tim Ryan ... Detective (uncredited)
Harry Seymour ... Bartender (uncredited)
Bert Stevens ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Harry Strang ... Officer Murphy (uncredited)
Amzie Strickland ... Girl at Table (uncredited)
Basil Walker ... Reporter (uncredited)
Paul Weigel ... Gus--Delicatessen Proprietor (uncredited)
Cecil Weston ... Police Matron (uncredited)

Directed by
H. Bruce Humberstone  (as Bruce Humberstone)
Writing credits
Dwight Taylor (screen play)

Steve Fisher (novel "I Wake Up Screaming")

Produced by
Milton Sperling .... producer
Original Music by
Cyril J. Mockridge (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Edward Cronjager (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Robert L. Simpson  (as Robert Simpson)
Art Direction by
Richard Day 
Nathan Juran 
Set Decoration by
Thomas Little 
Costume Design by
Gwen Wakeling 
Makeup Department
Guy Pearce .... makeup artist
Production Management
William Koenig .... production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ad Schaumer .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Bernard Freericks .... sound
Roger Heman Sr. .... sound (as Roger Heman)
Music Department
Cyril J. Mockridge .... musical director
Harold Arlen .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Alfred Newman .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Herbert W. Spencer .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Arthur Berthelet .... dialogue director (uncredited)
Frank L. James .... technical advisor (uncredited)
George Wright .... dialogue director (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Hot Spot" - UK, USA (working title)
See more »
82 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono | Mono (RCA Sound System)
Argentina:13 | Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:A | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #7647)

Did You Know?

"Daddy" (music and lyrics by Bobby Troup), plugged by Betty Grable in a store's music department, was cut from the film so that Twentieth Century-Fox could showcase Miss Grable in a fully dramatic role. The shooting script had Betty working as a stenographer instead of plugging songs. As her sole musical moment, Miss Grable hummed a bit of the Tchaikovsky-based ballad, "The Things I Love" (music and lyrics by Harold Barlow and Lewis Harris), during a car ride with Victor Mature and Carole Landis. Most of the ditty would be sung by Miss Landis later in the movie. Footage of Miss Grable performing "Daddy" still exists.See more »
Continuity: Jill's new address is apartment F, but when Cornell visits, the door is clearly marked 3B.See more »
Ed Cornell:I'll follow you into your grave. I'll write my name on your tombstone.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in American Grindhouse (2010)See more »
The Things I LoveSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
19 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
Story of obsession, murder key movie in developing noir cycle, 31 March 2002
Author: bmacv from Western New York

WWII pin-up gal Betty Grable took her first dramatic part as the sister of a murdered model in Bruce Humberstone's I Wake Up Screaming, based on a serialized novel by Steve Fisher. It sounds like second billing, but the victim's role – as coffee-shop hostess turned toast of Manhattan Vicky Lynn – remains curiously understated (and played by Carole Landis).

Landis is discovered by publicist Victor Mature and falls under his benevolent spell, which launches her onto magazine covers and ultimately to a Hollywood contract. She proves ungrateful and winds up strangled. Mature, among other suspects, comes under the scrutiny of the police, particularly of a dogged detective whose interest in the case borders on the obsessive. Portrayed by the immense but oddly vulnerable Laird Cregar, the detective becomes Mature's nemesis (in one scene, Mature wakes up to find Cregar watching him, hoping he'll incriminate himself by talking in his sleep). Cregar's ominous bulk makes for a number of looming shadows skulking through nighttime New York.

I Wake Up Screaming, which appeared very early in the noir cycle, certainly displays the dark look and fragmented structure of its successors, but its tone remains ambiguous. Basically, it's a high-style, `sophisticated' murder mystery, a precursor to the more famous and accomplished Laura. But, unlike Laura, it found many of the implications of the story perhaps too grim for wartime audiences – the theme of obsession gets played down, for instance. But it's a key work in the developing noir cycle, released the same year as Johnny Eager, The Glass Key and This Gun For Hire.

Eleven years later, the releasing studio, 20th Century Fox, remade the film as Vicki. Though changes for the most part were minimal, the title role was enlarged (and taken by Jean Peters) while Mature's part was weakened by routine casting. The most interesting change was engaging the young Richard Boone for the Cregar part, who delivers a more brutal portrayal and thus underscores the theme of sexual obsession. It could be argued that the remake, despite lapses in casting and direction, remains the more intriguing version.

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