Now, a movie so bold, so unusual, so mind-scramblingly brilliant it stands as a true original, a risky, daring, one-of-a-kind gambit Hollywood would never try today! Why, the title says it all:
That’s right - VICKI! If that’s not enough, the movie tells you what she’s like:
So she’s hot and . . . loud, I guess. Who’s in it?
That’s not Vicki, though. You might ask why the star isn’t the character named in the title, but we’ll get to that. Heeeere’s Vicki:
Looks like a real nice girl, eh? Nothing conniving in that face. (Howard Hughes’ wife, by the way.) The super-sexy girl-next-door in "Niagara," but a stone bicth here. When we meet her, she’s the ordinary sort of gal you find sloshing jake in an all-night hash-house. Mm-hmm. Sure:
What's on the menu? Hubba pie! But she’s just looking for a break, and like many women drawn to the Big Apple like worms drawn to a somewhat smaller, less metaphorical apple, she figures that some day a famous critic and a publicity agent will wander in around 2 AM and give her a ticket out of this joint. That’s just what happens. Thanks to some adroit manipulation of the press, she’s an overnight sensation - and the endorsements roll in. This sign appears to be 13 stories high:
Then it’s a singing career, including her famous “I'm so hot it's just ridiculous, absolutely absurd, can you believe it?” routine.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. The movie begins with Vicki’s body carted out of an apartment, toe-tag and all. Someone iced the skirt. Cut to the station house,: they’re grilling a guy down at headquarters, and he’s marinating in sweat. Poor guy has it rough:
Dude, fan it away if you’re going to cut it at mug-level, okay?
Into the room comes a foreboding, slightly insane cop:
That’s Richard Boone, who would later grow fleshier and craggier; here he’s just a poster boy for the Campaign To Keep Kids From Picking Their Pox Scabs Before They Heal. He’s obsessed with this case, and obsessed with nailing the PR guy. But he -
Wait a minute. Hold on.
Haven’t we seen this before? Yes, I know, there are only so many stories, but -
Well, of course. It’s this:
We've done this one before. It’s the same damned movie. They remade it 11 years after the original, and it’s inferior from start to finish. If you’ve seen the original, anyway. Boone is a smelly, mean, ugly little thing, and has none of the cool distant menace Laird Cregar brought to the role. It ends as the other one ended, with the hero confronting a desk clerk in an apartment. In the last one it was Elisha Cook, Jr. Here it’s this guy:
Oh, come on, fella, you’re revisiting a role made famous by the king of bug-eyed creepazoid loser menace - work it!
Thaaat’s better. And now for the payoff: The actor is . . . well, just click.
(Comments about this movie can be found here, in its original location.)