Skip to content

Vicki (1953)

This turned out to be a nifty thriller with a plot that played like it could have been subsequently used as a template for an episode of either The Twilight Zone or Thriller.

vicki 2

It’s a murder mystery involving a pair of sisters  played by Jeanne Crain and Jean Peters told in flashbacks from the point of view of several characters. Vicki as played by Peters is the murder victim as the story opens. Her image is plastered all over the city on billboards and magazine covers. When the news of her death comes over the wire, cop Richard Boone demands the case.

boone in vicki

Boone wastes little time in marking her agent Elliott Reid for the electric chair.

Both Reid and Crain will tell the story in flashback sequence of Peters’ rise to fame and the circumstances surrounding her murder including Crain finding Reid hovering over the body. A fairly graphic sequence for the time period.

Boone has all the ammunition he needs in pointing to Reid as the killer. Peters was leaving him for Hollywood thus ditching him as her agent. As far as Peters and her growing ego was concerned, “If men want to look at me, let them pay for it.”

peters as vicki

The film is going to take a twist when hard nosed Boone who isn’t above both intimidation and physical violence in the interrogation room is spotted in one of Crain’s story telling flashbacks. There’s more to Boone’s character here than just being an early version of the vigilante cop along the lines of Dirty Harry.

While Reid continually pleads his innocence to the watchful eye of Boone, Crain as well serves as a suspicious character in the plot who just may have killed her own sister to ensure that Reid begins to take notice of her.

boone in vicki2

“I’m gonna haunt both of you like a guilty conscience.” Richard Boone makes his presence known to Crain as he continually pursues Reid edging him closer to either confessing or making a break for it thus condemning himself to the chair.

Perhaps I’m gullible but the plot from script writer Dwight Taylor had enough red herrings to keep me guessing just “who dunnit” as filmed by Harry Horner.

vicki poster

Both Crain and Reid seemed to have a motive in place the way Boone keeps bending it. Then there is Boone himself who has an eerie quality to him in his search for a killer. Is he just trying to find a fall guy to cover up his own crime? He’s trying awfully hard and he did demand the case from his chief, John Dehner.  TV mogul Aaron Spelling is even in here as a somewhat crazed hotel boy manning the switchboard and keys at the hotel where Peters and Crain lived. Somewhere in here there is a killer and the actual outcome is rather creepy.

This Noirish thriller is time well spent with Boone proving to be an extremely forceful presence on screen. He’s both terrifying and intimidating all rolled into one. If this Fox release had been an RKO production his role has Robert Ryan written all over it. His violence and powerful performance recalls Ryan in On Dangerous Ground as the police officer with a violent streak as well as Javert of Les Miserables in his dogged pursuit of Reid.

vicki-cornell

Trivia buffs take note that both Boone and Dehner appear together in this 85 minute feature. Both would go on to play Paladin in Have Gun Will Travel. Boone to great acclaim on television and Dehner took on the role in the days of the radio shows.

This was released as part of the Fox Film Noir set on DVD and has now found a well deserved spot in my movie library. Go find yourself a copy.

4 Comments »

  1. This is on my to-see list, a remake of I Wake Up Screaming. I enjoyed the former, but saw that Vicki got lesser reviews. But if it’s good enough for a blog post, I’m game!

  2. Funny that I already ordered this DVD before I saw your review notice pop up in my e-mail box, so rest assured, I took your advice (without knowing it) and found myself a copy! And if you haven’t seen ‘I Wake Up Screaming’, that one’s worth a look, too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

"DESTROY ALL FANBOYS!"

Smashing System Bias Since 1972...

Movies ala Mark

With a Cast of Thousands

Classic Horrors

From silent screen to Halloween, and everything scary in between.

IDENTIKIT

The current online container for the writer Konrad Wardh

Just Hit Play

The Good, the Bad and sometimes Ugly in film

Strother Martin Film Project

What we've got here is failure to communicate

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film Club

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

Talking Pulp

All things pulp and then some

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

Scenes from the Morgue

The Lost Art of Pulp Ads: Film, Booze, Smokes & More!

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking deeper at the best classic movies

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Canadian Cinephile

"The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them." - Alfred Hitchcock

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

The Film Authority

You're ten seconds from watching an amazing film...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

hitchcockmaster

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

an irreverent blog of old movies

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

Speakeasy

watching movies

"DESTROY ALL FANBOYS!"

Smashing System Bias Since 1972...

Movies ala Mark

With a Cast of Thousands

Classic Horrors

From silent screen to Halloween, and everything scary in between.

IDENTIKIT

The current online container for the writer Konrad Wardh

Just Hit Play

The Good, the Bad and sometimes Ugly in film

Strother Martin Film Project

What we've got here is failure to communicate

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film Club

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

Talking Pulp

All things pulp and then some

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

Scenes from the Morgue

The Lost Art of Pulp Ads: Film, Booze, Smokes & More!

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking deeper at the best classic movies

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Canadian Cinephile

"The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them." - Alfred Hitchcock

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

The Film Authority

You're ten seconds from watching an amazing film...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

hitchcockmaster

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

an irreverent blog of old movies

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

Speakeasy

watching movies

%d bloggers like this: