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Vicki

1 rating: 4.0
A movie directed by Harry Horner

The portrait under the opening credits conjures up memories ofLaura, although this 1953 Fox noir quickly reveals its real roots: it's a remake of the studio's marvelous 1941 thrillerI Wake Up Screaming, a movie sometimes tagged as the first true film … see full wiki

Tags: Movies
Director: Harry Horner
1 review about Vicki

"When I put all my evidence together, I'll have you strapped in that chair so tight, you'll scream..."

  • Nov 17, 2009
Rating:
+4
This might be a remake of the superior Fox production "I Wake Up Screaming" (1941), but that doesn't stop 1953's VICKI from being a top-drawer noir title on it's own merits. Drawing heavily from the original movie--as well as "Laura" (1944), it provided Jeanne Crain with one of her final great movie roles at Fox, playing the sister of the glamorous title character.

When promising young model and singer Vicki Lynn (Jean Peters) is found slain in her apartment, veteran detective Ed Cornell (Richard Boone) calls off his vacation to work on the case. A parade of viable suspects includes the publicist (Elliott Reid) who kick-started her career, a nervous young man (Aaron Spelling) who operates the switchboards at Vicki's apartment building; and even Vicki's own sister, Jill (Jeanne Crain).

Jean Peters is appropriately-mysterious playing the doomed Vicki. In my opinion one of the most fascinating and lovely female contract players of the 1950s, Jean Peters' career at Fox sadly only lasted for a few years, yet she proved her worth in such movies as "A Blueprint for Murder", "Niagara" and "Three Coins in the Fountain".

Jeanne Crain sensitively plays down her performance as Jill, the "dowdy" sister of Vicki; this was one of her last major roles for the studio, having slowly reduced her workload in favour of expanding her real-life family. Elliott Reid impresses in one of his rare performances as the full-blooded leading man; Max Showalter (always a delight) is the gossip columnist with even more ties to the enigmatic Vicki.

Comparisons to the original "I Wake Up Screaming" naturally abound throughout the VICKI script, yet I also found lots of allusions to "Laura" (another classic Fox noir dealing with a detective's obsession for a dead woman); indeed, one scene finds Jeanne Crain and Elliott Reid stumbling into a movie theater which is screening--would you believe it--"Laura"!!

The DVD includes audio commentary with noir historian Foster Hirsch, interactive galleries, the trailer; and sneak peeks at more titles in the Fox Film Noir series.

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