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.
Commercial artist Daisy Kenyon is involved with married lawyer Dan O'Mara, and hopes someday to marry him, if he ever divorces his wife Lucille. She meets returning veteran Peter, a decent ... See full summary »
Johnny Damico botches a murder case and is suspended from the force. In reality, he is put undercover to identify the mysterious boss of the NY waterfront who has murdered everyone in his way. Will Johnny be next in line?
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.
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Imperfect, and not as impressive as its influences, but beautiful and quite decent
This film gets a bad rap. It's not brilliant, and it is a weaker version of the bold and gritty "I Wake Up Screaming," but it's beautifully filmed, tightly edited, and it has decent acting throughout.
The one acting exception might be the oddly cast main detective, who as a complex and critical role here, and who is miles from the original performer, Laird Cregar, in 1941. But on the same token I didn't think Betty Grable was convincing in the original, and the role here is filled with an appealing coolness, and a more crystalline beauty, by Jeanne Crain. And it's hard to ignore the astonishing Elisha Cook Jr. in the first version, compared to the awkward and overacted night clerk here.
Comparisons are hard to ignore because the plot is quite identical in both. It's a weird scenario overall, and it demands some forgiveness because of the trick played on the viewer by the detective. "Vicki" is told through a series of flashbacks, many of them, making for a highly constructed and rather choppy experience, which is intentional. The lead male besides the detective is a likable guy, a fairly ordinary fellow despite his position as a bigwig talent promoter in New York. When he is accused of killing the title character (the movie opens with a scene of her corpse being hauled away), it becomes a little Hitchcockian.
But psychology isn't a factor here, and neither is suspense. In fact, there isn't much to grip the viewer besides waiting to see how the plot will unfold, almost as a jigsaw puzzle where the picture in the puzzle doesn't matter so much as the shape of the pieces. Which is too bad. The elements are here for an amazing movie--and an amazing remake, even with today's style of filmmaking. It isn't a disaster, but it lacks a little on every front--except Haller's truly exceptional cinematography--and so we get a decent movie.
But if you like this at all, do see the more impressive (and also flawed) 1941 "I Wake Up Screaming," with a beefy and very different leading man in Victor Mature. And there is an undeniable influence from the slick and far better and more famous 1944 "Laura," complete with its title as a woman's name and a song being written for the movie. If you have seen either predecessor and are simply curious, you won't be ruined or angry if you watch this late noir from 1953, "Vicki." It's pretty good!
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