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I Wake Up Screaming (Fox Film Noir)

Betty Grable , Victor Mature , H. Bruce Humberstone    Unrated   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
When ambitious waitress Carole Landis reaches for Hollywood fame, she is found murdered in the apartment she shares with sister Betty Grable. Suspicion falls on Victor Mature's, Carole's promoter, but Betty believes in him and helps, through devious ploys, to unmask the real killer. Plenty of twists to keep you guessing in this exellent film noir, based on the book by Steve Fisher. Grable had one number to sing in this but, in order to sustain the dramatic content of the film, it was cut and Grable's occupation changed from songplugger to stenographer.
When previewed, this film (then entitled Hot Spot) was given the thumbs down by the audience - they thought they were in for a Grable musical treat. Zanuck and director Bruce Humberstone, re-edited the film and added new key scenes, working day and night to have it ready for its premiere. Reverted to its original title, it soon became a success and is a highly rated movie in its genre.
Laird Cregar steals the acting honours as the sinister detective investigating Landis's murder. And that excellent supporting actor, Elisha Cook Jr., is one of the "red herrings" under audience suspicion.
Cameraman Edward Cronjager does much to add to the atmosphere of this classic mystery with some fine low-key lighting and imaginative photography.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By J. Lovins TOP 50 REVIEWER
20th Century Fox presents "I WAKE UP SCREAMING" (1941) (82 min/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) -- Well-known New York sports promoter Frankie Christopher (Victor Mature) is the prime suspect in the murder of Vicky Lynn (Carole Landis), a successful model and would-be actress --- Questioned relentlessly by the police, and particularly by hulking detective squad commander Ed Cornell (Laird Cregar), he maintains his innocence --- Meanwhile, Vicky's sister Jill (Betty Grable) is also being questioned --- Their answers, given in adjoining interrogation rooms, become the basis for brief, neatly constructed interlocking flashbacks at the opening of the movie that explain the plot in very little time --- Both are released after admitting nothing, and the police begin working on other suspects, including journalist Larry Evans (Allyn Joslyn), aging actor Robin Ray (Alan Mowbray), and hotel clerk William Harrison (Elisha Cook Jr.) --- Jill had little use for Frankie, the man who had been promoting her sister's career, but the two are drawn together in the course of trying to sort out their lives and the murder of her sister, and her realization that Frankie is capable of truly loving a woman, and not just exploiting her --- Meanwhile, Cornell makes it his business to pressure and torment Frankie, illegally entering his apartment and promising him an arrest and a death sentence --- Eventually, the noose seems to tighten around Frankie as the circumstantial evidence piles up, until Frankie, trying to clear himself, uncovers a clue leading back to the real killer who was known to Cornell all along!

Top film noir performances and direction -- Great stuff!

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5.0 out of 5 stars Betty's Legs Sept. 30 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Good quality for DVD. Betty Grable sure looks hot in the scene where shes in pajamas. OK movie and certainly a decent addition to any 1940's crime/noir library. Received quickly and packaged well...no complaints at all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding entry in the Fox Film Noir lineup Aug. 12 2013
By Big Bill TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Another entry in the Fox Film Noir lineup. This one is spooky , dark, and moody. Suspicions abound as the tragic tale is
told using various characters flashbacks. Weird factoid ; the melody of Somewhere over the Rainbow from Wizard of
Oz (1939) is re-used (melody only , no words ) in I Wake Up Screaming (1941). Taught , suspenseful story , with a great cast ; Betty Grable : the WWII Soldiers inspiration ,Carol Landis , and Victor Mature. The guy playing the cop is unknown to me , but is terrific . He's spooky . Reminds me of the killer in No Country for Old Men . Victor Mature wakes up during a (hopefully normal ) nights sleep , only to see the cop sitting there in the dark watching him . Yikes!! Watch for Red Buttons when
he was just a squirt. Leonard Maltin's Movie guide says it was remade as
Vicki , another great flick. Really good , highly recommended . ( If a movie is any good I will watch it again ; this one got it's
second screening immediately!!) Good Noir.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars UNUSUAL GRABLE FARE. Jan. 3 2000
Format:VHS Tape
A surprisingly nifty, engrossing little thriller from 1942. Mature is a promoter accused of the murder of an actress he represents; he hides out with Grable, the actress' sister, but is finally tracked down by detective Laird Cregar. A cleverly ironic twist insures watching this little gem won't be in vain! A very unusual film for musical star Grable and quite successful in it's day; the ultimately tragic Carole Landis is memorably beautiful and the film's theme is, amazingly, OVER THE RAINBOW (!). Remade in 1953 as VICKI. Carole Landis was a beautiful young blonde of Polish/Norwegian stock who first made her mark in Hollywood in 1940 playing Loana in the cultish Hal Roach production ONE MILLION YEARS B.C.
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