In 1928, Big Ed Hanley, boss of a gang of Chicago racketeers, has money and power, but he is bored. Watching some kids play in the park, he sees Ruth Manning and is interested at once. He ... See full summary »
Marriage broker Mae Swasey, who somewhat cynically arranges her loser clients' affairs, meets model Kitty Bennett and can't resist meddling in her life, by disentangling her from a married ... See full summary »
In New York, after seven years in prison, the lawyer Max Monetti goes to the bank of his brothers Joe, Tony and Pietro Monetti and promises revenge to them. Then he visits his lover Irene ... See full summary »
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Edward G. Robinson,
Supermodel Vicki Lynn, whose face is seen everywhere, is murdered, and ace homicide cop Ed Cornell cuts his vacation short to take the case personally. In flashback we see how Vicki rose from ambitious waitress to big black headlines, courtesy of clever publicity man Steve Christopher. Now Cornell seems determined to get Christopher convicted in what begins to seem like a bizarre personal vendetta. Is Steve caught like a rat in a trap? Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The use of the quote, "The butler did it," was at that time a recognized joke. It played off the spoiling of the ending of a play or movie by a big mouth in the audience. It did not refer to the plot of the film being shown in that theater. See more »
Lt. Ed Cornell:
When I put all my evidence together, I'll have you strapped in that chair so tight, you'll scream.
See more »
"I Wake Up Screaming" is a weird, gaudy, creepy movie. One might call it one of a kind. But it is, in fact, not: "Vicki" is a remake. There are some differences in the storyline but it's different primarily because of casting: It's creative and bizarre in the original and pretty generic in the remake.
Carole Landis and Betty Grable have an authentically pulp look in "Wake." Jeanne Crain and Jean Peters look like sisters. They're both pretty but bland looking. Richard Boone is in the Laird Creger role. He's odd looking, to be sure. He refers to the man who brought the murdered girl from waitress to glamorous star as "pretty boy." He's prettier than Boone (who was a fine actor) but he's nothing special. His lack of color is at the heart of "Vicki's" failure.
Alexander D'Arcy looks great as the actor who also had a thing for Vicki. It's amazing that well over ten years earlier he'd played Irene vocal coach in the sublime "The Awful Truth."
Aaron Spelling (yes, THE Aaron Spelling) is effective and noirish as the whacked-out desk clerk at Vicki's apartment building. But when it comes to whacked-out, no one can top Elisha Cook, Jr., who played this role in the original.
The main problem is that anyone who's seen "I Wake Up Screaming" will know exactly what is going to happen in "Vicki." If anyone reading this happens to want to watch "Vicki" but hasn't yet seen "wake" -- please, watch the first one first.
Both have marvelously tawdry opening credits. "I Wake Up Screaming" has the better ones but "Vicki" is right in there. It's beautifully photographed by Milton Krasner.
I can't even say it's disappointing. What it does it does well enough. Surpassing the original would have taken a miracle.
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