Scarlet Street 1945

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(26) IMDb 7.9/10

In this chilling film noir, quiet cashier Christopher falls in love with a manipulative woman. They become involved but she's in love with a crook. When Christopher embezzles money for her and is found out he seeks solace with her but finds her in the arms of the crook.

Edward G. Robinson,Joan Bennett
1 hour, 41 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Crime, Romance
Director Fritz Lang
Starring Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett
Supporting actors Margaret Lindsay, Jess Barker, Dan Duryea
Studio Film Chest
BBFC rating Parental Guidance
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Satish Nimkar on 2 April 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Scarlet Street is a classical cinenoir. You have here femme fatale, a sucker and an evil cad. You name any characteristic of noir film and you have it here.But the film goes much beyond the standard clichées of noir film. That is the achievement of the director of the film,Fritz Lang. He has turned the film into the work of art.

Edward G.Robinson plays Christopher Cross, a cashier cum sunday painter, a sucker type. He is besotted with a young actress,Kitty March(Joan Bennett). She,in turn,is madly in love with a blackmailer Johnny(Dan Duryea). He wants her to abuse Cross's tender feelings for her to fleece him of big amounts of money.He wants the money for his dubious schemes that will lead him to the life on easy street. The way story proceeds,the sunday painter's works are sold for high prices,without him getting any credit or sou. The paintings were sold as the works of a reclusive Kitty March. Mr.Cross is still besotted with Kitty,in the meantime, he is free from his bad marriage by a twist in the story, wants to marry her.That is the moment of truth for him. She humiliates him,calls him a loser and in a fit of rage he kills Kitty.

Visually the film is stunning. That is the legacy of Fritz Lang, who was credited with bringing expressionist German art of his time into Hollywood films. The film has some dozen scenes shot through glass doors,or reflections in the mirror to create different planes of space and depth. The way camera moves,one has the feeling of being there.

For the ironies of life,watch carefully the court scene with different testimonies and opinions regarding the murder and Mr.Cross.Another great scene is when Johnny is led to the death chamber. That scene is a masterpiece in visual effects,almost three dimensional.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Alex Lehmann on 21 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Made just a year after Lang's The Woman in The Window, Scarlett Street is very much a follow up to that film. Although it isn't the same narrative, it uses the same principal actors from the previous, while exploring similar themes. While not the same in terms of cinematography, Scarlett Street rather builds its peculiar tension through the intricate relationships and connections between the characters, the lies, deceit and suspicions. While the audience might find its sympathy with Edward G. Robinson's character, there is not really any character in this that is not in some way very flawed or wronging someone else.

It is darker than The Woman in The Window, but less mysterious. Building less on formal principles, Scarlett Street is a looser film in terms of structure, but that doesn't diminish the straining tension which is built up as the narrative progresses. The films might seem on the surface to be fairly typical noir films, but Lang's films make themselves noteworthy from the rest of the genre with their uniquely intricate cinematography, complex relationships which strengthen the narrative and unnerving tension built up.

For some reason, it seems, Lang's American films haven't received as much attention as his early silent work, particularly M and Metropolis. But I do feel that his films are just as good, or indeed, even better than his European output. His films are dark, mysterious, ambiguous and subtle, interweaving the different elements that makes his films such intricate narratives, and I find his building of tension and meaning much more elegant than most directors of the same era. Fritz Lang was very much the equal of such masters as Max Ophüls, Alfred Hitchcock and Douglas Sirk.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 11 Jun. 2007
Format: DVD
When Christopher Cross (Edward G. Robinson), a meek, middle-aged cashier, ran one rainy night to the aid of Kitty March (Joan Bennett) who was being beaten by her boy friend, Johnny Prince (Dan Duryea), he had no idea how his life would be changed. It's probably also fair to say that Robinson, Bennett, Duryea and director Fritz Lang had no idea at the time that they were making one of the great noirs, a movie so good, in fact, that in my view it transcends the noir genre.

Cross is married to a shrew. He does the dishes wearing a frilly apron. He's taken for granted by just about everyone he knows. After 25 years with the bank, he has just been given a gold watch. And he paints. He loves to paint; it's the only thing that gives him happiness. When he meets Kitty and walks her home, he sees a beautiful young woman who is friendly. He arranges to meet her again. One afternoon he tells her about his love of painting. "Nobody ever taught me how to draw," he says. "I just put a line around what I feel when I look at things. It's like falling in love, I guess." Kitty looks at him sympathetically. When he looks down at his plate, though, she can't keep a little twist of amusement from her lips. He doesn't know that in him she sees a middle-aged figure of pathetic fun. She and Johnny begin to take Chris for every penny he can make or steal. When Johnny sells his paintings and the paintings become famous, Kitty takes the credit and Johnny takes the money. Johnny may beat up Kitty but she loves him. Cross finally realizes not just how he has been used by the pair, but how Kitty has held him in contempt as a little man whose feelings are laughable. One night she screams at him, "How can a man be so dumb? I've been waiting to laugh in your face ever since I met you.
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