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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Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   2,236 votes »
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Down 15% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
Dwight Taylor (screen play)
Steve Fisher (novel)
Contact:
View company contact information for I Wake Up Screaming on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
31 October 1941 (USA) See more »
Plot:
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:
"Why Should I Go On Slinging Hash, When I Can Sling Other Things?" See more (69 total) »

Cast

  (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 ... Asst. District Attorney

Charles Lane ... Keating, Florist
Frank Orth ... Caretaker
Gregory Gaye ... Headwaiter
May Beatty ... Mrs. Handel (as Mae Beatty)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Brooks Benedict ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Stanley Blystone ... Detective (uncredited)
Wade Boteler ... Detective (uncredited)
Ralph Brooks ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Russ Clark ... Policeman (uncredited)
Stanley Clements ... Newsboy (uncredited)
James Conaty ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Heinie Conklin ... Pedestrian Who Buys Newspaper (uncredited)
Bob Cornell ... Reporter (uncredited)
Dorothy Dearing ... Girl at Table (uncredited)
Eddie Dunn ... Detective (uncredited)
Ralph Dunn ... Detective (uncredited)
Sarah Edwards ... Customer (uncredited)
James Flavin ... Detective (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Lady Handel's Party Guest (uncredited)
Jack Gargan ... Nightclub Waiter (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)
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, the 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
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 »
Runtime:
82 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono | Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #7647)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
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 »
Goofs:
Errors in geography: 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 »
Quotes:
Ed Cornell:What she meant we'll never know. It's what she said that counts.See more »
Soundtrack:
Street SceneSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
41 out of 53 people found the following review useful.
"Why Should I Go On Slinging Hash, When I Can Sling Other Things?", 10 July 2000
Author: Michael Coy (michael.coy@virgin.net) from London, England

A pretty waitress is given a shot at the big time by a handsome sports impresario. She grabs her chance with alacrity, but Fate has plotted a different course for her ...

Bruce Humberstone directs this attractive early noir with a strong sense of visual style. His Director of Photography, Edward Cronjager, works wonders with elongated shadows and labyrinths of lattice.

Victor Mature looks good as Frankie Christopher, the romantic lead. Always a fairly limited actor, he never the less captures his character's ambivalence sufficiently well for the viewer to be kept wondering about him until the final reel. But for all Mature's efforts, Frankie remains a lightweight. He spends more time onscreen than anyone else, but remains in the viewer's memory less successfully than the other three leads.

After almost a decade in films, Betty Grable was 25 years old in 1941 and already an established star when she took on the role of Jill Lynne. Her character has psychological depth, and Grable does justice to the part. Jill is the slightly staid older sister of Vicky the glamour girl. While Vicky gives free rein to her every whim, Jill suppresses her id, but her yearnings are simmering just below the surface.

Of course, those legendary Grable legs have to be put on display, and we get three glimpses of Hollywood's most-insured thighs - first when the two sisters flounce around in robes, discussing the letter, then when Jill accompanies Frankie to the Lido Plunge, and finally when she is tottering up firescapes and over rooftops in her high heels.

Inspector Ed Cornell is a figure of stature, apparently a good guy, but one who fills the viewer with a sense of uneasy foreboding. Laird Cregar captures brilliantly the bleakness and creepiness of Cornell, the cop who starts the movie as a silent shadow, but who grows inexorably to dominate the proceedings. The moment when Jill meets Cornell for the first time is a very dramatic one, just as Vicky's first encounter with the eerie detective was disturbing. Robin Ray (Alan Mowbray) breaks down under interrogation, and Cornell's stillness as the suspect sobs is rather unsettling. "You're not a cop looking for a murderer," Cornell is told, and we become increasingly aware that this repressed man is conducting some kind of unhealthy personal crusade. It is only at the very end of the film that Cornell displays any emotion, and then the floodgates open.

Carole Landis, the ill-starred actress who plays Vicky Lynne, deserves a special mention. Like her character, whose fictional tragedy she paralleled in her own life, Landis was a victim of her own beauty. A tough but brittle radiance, total self-absorption and an impatience with the trappings of success ("I've got about as much privacy as a lingerie mannequin!") are Vicky's salient attributes, but could be said to apply to Landis herself. She gives a confident performance and sings beautifully. Like Vicky, she shot to instant fame but never found love, and died in her 20's. Thus does Life imitate Art.

The film contains some errors and improbabilities, but these do not seriously detract from the viewer's enjoyment. Cornell gathers evidence (such as discarded cigarette butts) with blatant disregard for preservation and continuity. That Harry should pack Jill's things, ready for her to move out, is just plain weird. The Assistant DA (played by Morris Ankrum) rides Cornell far too hard, given the detective's peerless reputation - and would the lawyer have direct operational command over a detective anyway? Frankie is allowed to compound felonies, and threaten cops, with impunity. Unbelievably, the police grant him the freedom to crack the case, even though he is the main suspect.

Music is used effectively throughout. "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" (the hit from the recent 'Wizard Of Oz') is Frankie and Jill's love theme. Vicky's signature tune is a wonderfully decadent jazz melody, brassily scored. Plot points are nicely underlined by discords in the incidental music, and during Cornell's final speech, Vicky's theme is reprised with great poignance and beauty on a muted trumpet.

We do not normally associate film noir with humour, but this one uses jokes well, both to punctuate the plot and to add a little light to the shade. Watch for gentle little gags involving latch keys, a Tootsie Roll, the girl at the Lido Plunge and a fold-away bed.

"You've got a heart made out of rock candy," Vicky is told, and in life the hard young woman is an unsympathetic character. Death transforms her, and she haunts the remainder of the film like a sort of ghost, her photograph adorning walls and bedside tables, more appealing in reverie than she ever was in the flesh. There is no help for it, Vicky is gone for ever. The question is whether those who loved her can continue to live without hope. "It can be done," intones the nihilistic Cornell.

Just for the record, though two characters are startled out of sleep by bedroom intruders, nobody in "I Wake Up Screaming" wakes up screaming.

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