|Directed by||Gerd Oswald|
|Screenplay by||Robert Blees|
|Based on||The Screaming Mimi|
by Fredric Brown
|Produced by||Harry Joe Brown|
Gypsy Rose Lee
|Edited by||Gene Havlick|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
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 1949 novel of the same name by Fredric Brown.
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 1946 film Gilda.
All the while, Virginia is being stalked by a serial killer.
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."