ⓘ Screaming Mimi (film)


ⓘ Screaming Mimi (film)

Screaming Mimi is a 1958 American film noir directed by Gerd Oswald and starring Anita Ekberg, Philip Carey and Gypsy Rose Lee. The story originated as a novel by Fredric Brown.


1. Plot

In Southern California, while Virginia Wilson is taking an outside beach shower, an escaped madman from a sanitarium arrives. He stabs her dog, attacks her and is shot to death by her stepbrother, Charlie, with a rifle.

After the attack, Virginia is committed to a sanitarium. The psychiatrist falls in love with her. He fakes her death, and they go on the lam. Virginia ends up dancing at El Madhouse night club run by Gypsy Rose Lee. Lee performs "Put the Blame on Mame," the classic noir theme from the film Gilda.

All the while, Virginia is being stalked by a serial killer.


2. Cast

  • Harry Townes as Dr. Greenwood / Bill Green
  • Philip Carey as Bill Sweeney
  • Linda Cherney as Ketti
  • Anita Ekberg as Virginia Wilson / Yolanda Lange
  • Romney Brent as Charlie Weston
  • Gypsy Rose Lee as Joann Gypsy Mapes
  • Red Norvo as Red Yost as The Red Norvo Trio

3. Reception

Richard W. Nason, film critic for The New York Times, wrote, "It is an effective film of its kind, thanks to some reflective dialogue by Robert Blees and a sense of suspense on the part of Gerd Oswald, the director. Anita Ekberg, who does more acting here than before, is the star. Gypsy Rose Lee and Phil Carey are also on the ball."

Film critic Dennis Schwartz gave the film a C, describing the direction as lackluster and the story as so nonsensical that it entirely cripples the film. He summarized it as "a delusional film that seems fit for fetishists, voyeurs, those seeking a lurid oddball film with innovative noirish B/W photography by the great Burnett Guffey and, is especially suited, for lovers of bad-movies."