DirectorH. Bruce Humberstone Music directorCyril J. Mockridge CountryUnited States
Release dateNovember 14, 1941 (1941-11-14) (United States) Based onI Wake Up Screaming
by Steve Fisher WriterDwight Taylor (screen play), Steve Fisher (novel) Film series20th Century Fox Film Noir CastBetty Grable (Jill Lynn), Victor Mature (Frankie Christopher (Botticelli)), Carole Landis (Vicky Lynn), Laird Cregar (Police Insp. Ed Cornell), William Gargan (Jerry 'Mac' MacDonald), Alan Mowbray (Robin Ray) Similar moviesDouble Indemnity, Out of the Past, The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Killers, The Killing, Focus
I wake up screaming trailer
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 was remade in 1953 as Vicki.
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."
The film's score was made up of "Over the Rainbow" and the theme from the 1931 film Street Scene, written by Alfred Newman.