Agnes Langsley gets a job, through Jim Hollis, as caretaker of an old and vacated estate. The owner's cousin, Jennifer, was the last occupant and mysteriously disappeared. Agnes soon begins... See full summary »
LaRochelle, a former pirate captain, is caught by the British. To get his ship back, he works as a spy against other pirates, first of all Blackbeard and Providence. He works on some ships,... See full summary »
A Maine lobster fisherman, trained as an architect, prefers to be a fisherman over the objections of his fiancée. The latter, a welfare worker for the state, finds a home for a 12-year-old ... See full summary »
A lad with a penchant for trouble is sent to live with his aunt and uncle in Indiana. Though he's not happy about the arrangement at first, his love of horses and his affection for a young ... See full summary »
Joel McCrea plays a hotshot reporter who thinks he knows everything and Jean Arthur plays an actress who puts one over on him. It turns out the financier of her play is a notorious art ... See full summary »
Three working girls in Budapest pool their resources to get a better apartment and impress their dates. One dates a nobleman and, learning of her rejection by him, considers poison. Another... See full summary »
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>
When Jill Lynn (Jeanne Crain) seeks out Steve Christopher (Elliott Reid) in the all-night movie house, a film is playing on the screen but we only hear the voices. The dialogue is from the classic movie Laura (1944), and the lines are from the police interrogation scene featuring Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews. However, when Christopher jokes about the movie he's seen 4 times, he is referring to something completely different (he mentions "The butler did it"). See more »
Slug me with those, Cornell, and I'll square you off if it takes me the rest of my life.
Lt. Ed Cornell:
You're not gonna have a very long life, Stevie. You're like a rat in a box, without any holes. But they're gonna make a hole for you...six by three, filled with quicklime.
See more »
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!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?