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.[1] The story originated as a novel by Fredric Brown.

Screaming Mimi
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGerd Oswald
Produced byHarry Joe Brown
Robert Fellows
Screenplay byRobert Blees
Based onThe Screaming Mimi
1949 novel
by Fredric Brown
StarringAnita Ekberg
Philip Carey
Gypsy Rose Lee
CinematographyBurnett Guffey
Edited byGene Havlick
Jerome Thoms
Sage Productions
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • June 25, 1958 (1958-06-25)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited States


In Southern California, while Virginia Wilson (Anita Ekberg) 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 (Romney Brent), 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.



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."[2]

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."[3]

See also


  1. Screaming Mimi on IMDb.
  2. Nason, Richard W (June 26, 1958). "This Angry Age". The New York Times. Retrieved January 27, 2008.
  3. Schwartz, Dennis (June 1, 2008). "This Twisted Thriller Is a Scream in All the Wrong Ways". Ozus' World Movie Reviews. Archived from the original on June 23, 2017. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
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