I Wake Up Screaming
|I Wake Up Screaming|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||H. Bruce Humberstone|
|Produced by||Milton Sperling|
|Screenplay by||Dwight Taylor
|Based on||the novel I Wake Up Screaming
by Steve Fisher
|Music by||Cyril J. Mockridge|
|Editing by||Robert L. Simpson|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||82 minutes|
I Wake Up Screaming (originally titled Hot Spot) is a 1941 film noir. It is based on the novel of the same name by Steve Fisher, who co-wrote the screenplay with Dwight Taylor. The film stars Betty Grable, Victor Mature and Carole Landis, and features one of Grable's few dramatic roles.
A young promoter, Frankie Christopher (Mature), is accused of the murder of Vicky Lynn (Landis), a young actress he "discovered" as a waitress while out with ex-actor Robin Ray and gossip columnist Larry Evans.
Frankie hides out with Vicky's sister, Jill (Grable), with whom he is falling in love, but is eventually captured and interrogated by the cops. An obsessive police officer, Cornell, knows that Frankie is innocent but because the evidence is completely incriminating, he tries to put the suspect behind bars anyway. Frankie escapes and eventually finds the murderer's true identity.
- Betty Grable as Jill Lynn
- Victor Mature as Frankie Christopher
- Carole Landis as Vicky Lynn
- Laird Cregar as Ed Cornell
- Alan Mowbray as Robin Ray
- Allyn Joslyn as Larry Evans
- Elisha Cook, Jr. as Harry Williams
- Chick Chandler as Reporter
- Cyril Ring as Reporter
- Morris Ankrum as Asst. District Attorney
- Charles Lane as Florist
- Frank Orth as Caretaker
- Gregory Gaye as Headwaiter
- May Beatty as Mrs. Handel
I Wake Up Screaming was previewed for the press on October 16, 1941 under the title Hot Spot.
Film critic Dennis Schwartz gave the film a favorable review, writing, "Veteran Fox studio director H. Bruce Humberstone (Charlie Chan at the Opera/Sun Valley Serenade), whose films ranged from Charlie Chan to Tarzan, puts forth his best effort in this thrilling film noir. I Wake Up Screaming was remade in 1953 as Vicki. Dwight Taylor bases his screenplay on the book by pulp writer Steve Fisher. In a jarring move that works in an odd way, 'Somewhere over the Rainbow' is the soundtrack that can be heard throughout. This early film noir, shot in a naturalistic style, showed how dark photography can increase a brooding mood and make the film more tense ... The conclusion is filled with plot twists and surprise character revelations, as the marvelously sinister performance by Laird Cregar as the sicko detective dominates the screen."
- Mayer, Geoff and Brian McDonnell. Encyclopedia of film noir (2007: Greenwood Publishing Company). page 226. ISBN 978-0-313-33306-4
- TCM web-site.
- Schwartz, Dennis. Ozus' World Movie Reviews, film review, December 20, 2004. Accessed: July 10, 2013.
- Beck, Jay and Tony Grajeda. Lowering the Boom: Critical Studies in Film Sound (2008: University of Illinois Press). page 114. ISBN 0-252-07532-3