I Wake up Screaming

I Wake up Screaming

5.0 1
Director: H. Bruce Humberstone

Cast: Betty Grable, Victor Mature, Carole Landis

     
 
I Wake Up Screaming is often described as Hollywood's first film noir: the first movie to feature the mix of dark psychology and mystery, not to mention the ominous mood of threat surrounding its protagonists that came to define that category of film. It's also arguably the best movie ever made by its director H. Bruce

Overview

I Wake Up Screaming is often described as Hollywood's first film noir: the first movie to feature the mix of dark psychology and mystery, not to mention the ominous mood of threat surrounding its protagonists that came to define that category of film. It's also arguably the best movie ever made by its director H. Bruce Humberstone, displaying unexpected elements of dramatic flair and creativity on the part of a director usually known for his straightforward approach to his pictures. The opening sequence is extremely clever, two separate interrogation sequences in adjoining rooms involving the male and female leads (Victor Mature and Betty Grable) which provide flashbacks that quickly bring the audience up to speed, and provides all one needs to know to solve the mystery. The centerpiece of I Wake Up Screaming is the dark motivation behind the sadistic, brutal actions of detective Ed Cornell (Laird Cregar). Without uttering a word, and scarcely even visible during his first five minutes in the action, Cregar's character dominates every scene he is in, and gives I Wake Up Screaming an unhealthy, unsavory tone. Music plays a major role in the structure and content of I Wake Up Screaming — each of the flashbacks is accompanied by quotations from Alfred Newman's signature tune "Street Scene," variations of which also depict elements of New York life circa 1941; but the movie's principal romantic theme is E.Y. Harburg and Harold Arlen's "Over the Rainbow," which was then nothing more than a popular song salvaged from The Wizard of Oz, an unsuccessful MGM release from two years earlier. Viewed in contemporary times, when the song has become a pop-culture touchstone, it seems bizarre and even slightly distracting, but the tune does contrast well with the urban grittiness of the Newman piece used elsewhere in the movie. Overall, I Wake Up Screaming represents its maker's best work, Grable's most interesting performance, one of Mature's most complex roles, and a high point for Cregar, as well as being successful and opening the door for a new kind of thriller, drawing audiences into new levels of sophistication in their viewing.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
I Wake Up Screaming is often described as Hollywood's first film noir: the first movie to feature the mix of dark psychology and mystery, not to mention the ominous mood of threat surrounding its protagonists that came to define that category of film. It's also arguably the best movie ever made by its director H. Bruce Humberstone, displaying unexpected elements of dramatic flair and creativity on the part of a director usually known for his straightforward approach to his pictures. The opening sequence is extremely clever, two separate interrogation sequences in adjoining rooms involving the male and female leads (Victor Mature and Betty Grable) which provide flashbacks that quickly bring the audience up to speed, and provides all one needs to know to solve the mystery. The centerpiece of I Wake Up Screaming is the dark motivation behind the sadistic, brutal actions of detective Ed Cornell (Laird Cregar). Without uttering a word, and scarcely even visible during his first five minutes in the action, Cregar's character dominates every scene he is in, and gives I Wake Up Screaming an unhealthy, unsavory tone. Music plays a major role in the structure and content of I Wake Up Screaming -- each of the flashbacks is accompanied by quotations from Alfred Newman's signature tune "Street Scene," variations of which also depict elements of New York life circa 1941; but the movie's principal romantic theme is E.Y. Harburg and Harold Arlen's "Over the Rainbow," which was then nothing more than a popular song salvaged from The Wizard of Oz, an unsuccessful MGM release from two years earlier. Viewed in contemporary times, when the song has become a pop culture touchstone, it seems bizarre and even slightly distracting, but the tune does contrast well with the urban grittiness of the Newman piece used elsewhere in the movie. Overall, I Wake Up Screaming represents its maker's best work, Grable's most interesting performance, one of Mature's most complex roles, and a high point for Cregar, as well as being successful and opening the door for a new kind of thriller, drawing audiences into new levels of sophistication in their viewing.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/06/2006
UPC:
0024543244547
Original Release:
1941
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:22:00
Sales rank:
10,107

Special Features

Closed Caption; Audio commentary by film noir historian Eddie Muller; "Daddy" deleted scene; Poster gallery; Production stills gallery; Unit photography gallery; Hot Spot opening title treatment & poster gallery; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Betty Grable Jill Lynn
Victor Mature Frankie Christopher (Botticelli)
Carole Landis Vicky Lynn
Laird Cregar Ed Cornell
Elisha Cook Harry Williams
William Gargan Jerry McDonald
Alan Mowbray Robin Ray
Allyn Joslyn Larry Evans
Chick Chandler Reporter
Cyril Ring Reporter
Morris Ankrum Assistant District Attorney
Brooks Benedict Man
Stanley Blystone Actor
Wade Boteler Actor
Russ Clark Policeman
Stanley Clements Actor
Dorothy Dearing Girl at Table
Eddie Dunn Actor
Ralph Dunn Actor
James Flavin Actor
George Hickman Newsboy
Pat McKee Newsman
Edward McWade Actor
Philip Morris Detective
Forbes Murray Mr. Handel
Albert Pollet Waiter
Dick Rich Actor
Tim Ryan Actor
Harry Seymour Bartender
Harry Strang Actor
Basil Walker Actor
Paul Weigel Old Man
Cecil Weston Police Matron
Charles Lane Florist Keating
Frank Orth Undertaker
Gregory Gaye Headwaiter
May Beatty Lady Hendel

Technical Credits
H. Bruce Humberstone Director
Harold Barlow Songwriter
Edward J. Cronjager Cinematographer
Richard Day Art Director
Bernard Freericks Sound/Sound Designer
Lewis Harris Songwriter
Roger Heman Sound/Sound Designer
Nathan Juran Art Director
Thomas K. Little Set Decoration/Design
Cyril Mockridge Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Guy Pearce Makeup
Robert L. Simpson Editor
Milton Sperling Producer
Dwight Taylor Screenwriter
Gwen Wakeling Costumes/Costume Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- I Wake Up Screaming
1. Main Titles [:59]
2. The Murdered Model [1:04]
3. Presenting Miss Lynn [5:20]
4. The Sister's Story [4:55]
5. Vicky's News [4:55]
6. The Mysterious Stranger [4:08]
7. Glad to Get Rid of Me [3:01]
8. The Look of a Guilty Man [2:09]
9. A Terrible Mistake [1:42]
10. Rat in the Bedroom [2:53]
11. Helpful Harry [2:34]
12. The Actor's Interrogation [5:40]
13. Tightening the Noose [2:13]
14. Matters of Justice [2:51]
15. A Date With Frankie [5:50]
16. The Lido Plunge [1:56]
17. The Letter [2:35]
18. On the Run [2:46]
19. Hide and Seek [2:44]
20. No Deals [2:09]
21. Out of the Box [3:44]
22. Flowers Every Day [3:59]
23. Because I Promised [2:25]
24. The Only Chance [:48]
25. Call From the Dead [2:47]
26. The Cure [4:39]
27. Mrs. Botticelli [:39]
28. End Titles [:28]

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I Wake up Screaming 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
pinkrose More than 1 year ago
I have seen I Wake UP Screaming many times. Even though I know how it ends, the acting and the script are so good I have never tired of this movie. I believe it is the ultimate film noir! It has a terrific villian and other unsavory characters and humorous charactors also. The acting was great, and that includes everyone in this wonderful ensemble. The chemistry between Betty Grable and Victure Mature was amazing. The cinematography was dark and brooding, and the musical score was haunting and perfect. For first time viewers rest assured you will be surprised by the many twists and turns. Highest recommendation!