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||I Wake Up Screaming
by Steve Fisher
|Music by||Cyril J. Mockridge|
|Edited by||Robert L. Simpson|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
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 (Victor Mature), is accused of the murder of Vicky Lynn (Carole Landis), a young actress he "discovered" as a waitress while out with ex-actor Robin Ray (Alan Mowbray) and gossip columnist Larry Evans (Allyn Joslyn).
Frankie hides out with Vicky's sister, Jill (Betty Grable), with whom he is falling in love, but is eventually captured and interrogated by the cops. An obsessive police officer, Cornell (Laird Cregar), 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
The movie was originally known as I Wake Up Screaming. Its title was then changed to Hot Spot. It was the first film Mature made under his contract with 20th Century Fox. Mature, Carole Landis and Alice Faye were meant to star. Faye was replaced by Betty Grable. The title was eventually changed back to I Wake Up Screaming although it was released in some markets as Hot Spot.
The film earned a profit of $574,100.
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."
- Mank, Gregory William (2018). Laird Cregar: A Hollywood Tragedy. McFarland.
- Mayer, Geoff and Brian McDonnell. Encyclopedia of film noir (2007: Greenwood Publishing Company). page 226. ISBN 978-0-313-33306-4
- SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: Goldwyn to Film the Life of Lou Gehrig -- Picture Listed for Release Next Year DANCE HALL' HERE FRIDAY Carole Landis and Romero in Roxy Feature -- 'Stars Look Down' Opens July 23 By DOUGLAS W. CHURCHILL Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 15 July 1941: 22.
- 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