Richard Boone is excellent as a homicide cop obsessed with the murder of a model. He’s convinced the killer is the PR man who made her career. This is a remake of sorts of 1941’s “I Wake Up Screaming.” Of the two that is the superior version but this one is worth watching because of Boone.
Model Vicki Lynn (Jean Peters) is found dead in her apartment. Overworked Homicide cop Lt.Ed Cornell (Richard Boone) has been forced to take a vacation. As he’s signing into a quiet hotel (the bellhop is character actor Burt Mustin) he sees the newspaper. Vicki’s murder is the headline. Ed calls his boss Chief Donald (John Dehner) and says he’s coming back to take over the case.
He’s sure PR man Steve Christopher (Elliot Reed) is guilty and has him brought in. There are a number of flashbacks. Steve goes back to the night he first met her. He and columnist Larry Evans are walking along and spot a waitress through a cafe window and go in. She’s Vicki Lynn. Steve wants to make her a big time model and succeeds with help from Larry.
Her sister Jill (Jeanne Crain) tells Captain Donald (Carl Betz) she tried to keep Vicki down to earth but she was determined to hit the top. Her ego also goes to the top. She tells Steve that she’s going to Hollywood for a screen test. Steve isn’t happy about her uncaring attitude after all he’d done for her.
Donald asks Jill if any men had been bothering her. She said there was one who used to look at her through the cafe window. Cornell is asked to come out. Jill’s shocked to see that he’s the man from the window. He says it was his district and he wanted to be sure Vicki would be safe because she worked until midnight.
She tells them about the car ride that night. Steve agrees to take Vicki to the airport the next day and said he’d be glad to get rid of her. That convinces Cornell even more that he’s guilty. He’s not happy that Steve is released because the switchboard operator at Vicki and Jill’s apartment is missing. He’s a wise guy named Harry Williams (Aaron Spelling…yes…that Aaron Spelling).
Don’t want to give anything away. I’ve never been a big fan of remakes but this isn’t a carbon copy of the original and Boone is so good that this is worth checking out.