6.5/10
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21 user 7 critic

Vicki (1953)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 5 October 1953 (USA)
The untimely murder of a New York glamor-girl sparks an investigation with an emotionally driven detective at the helm.

Director:

Harry Horner

Writers:

Steve Fisher (novel), Dwight Taylor
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jeanne Crain ... Jill Lynn
Jean Peters ... Vicki Lynn
Elliott Reid ... Steve Christopher
Richard Boone ... Lt. Ed Cornell
Max Showalter ... Larry Evans (as Casey Adams)
Alexander D'Arcy ... Robin Ray (as Alex D'Arcy)
Carl Betz ... Detective McDonald
Aaron Spelling ... Harry Williams
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"If men want to look at me. . .why shouldn't they pay for it?" See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 October 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le crime était signé See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$560,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The two leads are watching the movie 'Laura' in the theater. Although this movie is a remake of 'I Wake Up Streaming,' it shares similar traits with 'Laura' being named after a beautiful woman whose portrait is seen in the opening credits, and who winds up either dead or presumed dead. Also, both movies has a cop in love with both Vicki and Laura, and they wind up interrogating her male friends, all culprits. See more »

Quotes

Steve Christopher: 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 »

Connections

Version of I Wake Up Screaming (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Give Me the Simple Life
(uncredited)
Music by Rube Bloom
Played at the beginning of the first Club Capri sequence
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Imperfect, and not as impressive as its influences, but beautiful and quite decent
5 January 2013 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Vicki (1953)

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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