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Saturday, March 11, 2017

I Wake Up Screaming (1941)

When a glamorous model (Carole Landis) is murdered, a police detective (Laird Cregar) harasses the promoter (Victor Mature) who made her famous as the chief suspect in the girl's murder. But there's more going on than meets the eye. Directed by H. Bruce Humberstone (SUN VALLEY SERENADE) from the novel by Steve Fisher. A big favorite of film noir buffs, this is an anomaly in Humberstone's filmography which mostly consists of lightweight musicals and comedies, "B" westerns and Charlie Chan and Tarzan movies. I don't know how much he's responsible for SCREAMING's effectiveness but it's a tight nifty murder mystery. Aside from Landis' self centered vixen, the most interesting character in the piece is Cregar's obsessed detective whose backstory is saved for the very end. The only sore spot in the film is the dreadful underscore (credited to Cyril Mockridge) which consists of Alfred Newman's STREET SCENE and the song OVER THE RAINBOW played consistently. Remade in 1953 as VICKI. With Betty Grable as the murdered girl's sister, Alan Mowbray, Allyn Joslyn, William Gargan and Elisha Cook Jr.

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