Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Wake Up Screaming!

This 1941 film directed by H. Bruce Humberstone has to have one of the silliest, most nonsensical titles in Hollywood history. The title has nothing to do with anything in the movie, unless we really dig toward the argument that it alludes to the idea that what happens to the main characters is rather nightmarish. Based on a novel by Steve Fisher, adapted for the screen by Dwight Taylor and starring Betty Grable, Victor Mature and Carole Landis, the film noir tells the story of a young, gorgeous waitress named Vicky Lynn (Landis) who gets discovered by an agent type named Frankie (Mature) and some other well-to-do gentlemen. She becomes a Hollywood actress and is on her way to fame until she is tragically murdered. Soon, the chief inspector is trying to frame Frankie for the murder. Yada yada yada, Betty Grable plays Vicky's sister who falls in love with Frankie and so on and so on.

Betty Grable and Carole Landis

Vicky's sister recalls seeing a scary man following her sister.

Lots of good scary man shadows in this film.

Vicky Lynn's (Landis) screen test.

After Vicky's death the film centers on Grable and Mature.

The most compelling part of the film is the reality surrounding the tragic history of Carole Landis. I read a little online and it turns out that she, though beautiful and not untalented, made quite a few movies, but her career quickly faded with a cancelled Twentieth Century-Fox contract in the mid-forties and in 1948 she ended her own life at the age of twenty-nine. Eerily enough, her last film was entitled Noose.


Andi B. Goode said...

I have been wanting to see this film FOREVER but it doesn't have a DVD release in Australia. =[
-Andi x

Margaux said...

If you get netflix I'm pretty sure you can watch it online! That's how I saw it, at least.