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I Wake Up Screaming

Director:  H. Bruce Humberstone
Year Released:  1941
Rating:  3.0

Sports promoter Frankie (Victor Mature) meets waitress Vicky (Carole Landis) and wants to make her a star (with help from other 'connected' types) ... except she winds up dead, Frankie is considered a prime suspect and he's running around with Vicky's sister Jill (Betty Grable), who goes from hating him to falling in love with him (typical!). Screenwriter Dwight Taylor, working from a novel by Steve Fisher, throws so many red herrings into the seediness even I was convinced that Frankie's guilty ... that is until the surprise ending, which does its best to tie it all together. Mature often downplayed his own acting prowess, but he's fantastic in this, with his quivering mouth holding back the rage and fear; pin-up star Grable, admired by Animal in Stalag 17, is featured in a gratuitous swimming pool scene (check out those gams!). If anything, it should be seen for Laird Cregar's performance as omnipresent investigator Cornell, who will pull every trick to get his conviction ... but has his own demons to occupy him (Mr. Cregar passed away at the age of 30 despite appearing much wiser ... and could have been a screen legend).

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