Scarlet Street (1945) DVDRip Dual Esp-Eng (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi
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Scarlet Street (1945)
Chris Cross, 25 years a cashier, has a gold watch and little else. That rainy night, he rescues delectable Kitty from her abusive boyfriend Johnny. Smitten, amateur painter Chris lets Kitty think he's a wealthy artist. At Johnny's urging, she lets Chris establish her in an apartment (with his shrewish wife's money). There, Chris paints masterpieces; but Johnny sells them under Kitty's name, with disastrous and ironic results.
Edward G. Robinson ... Christopher Cross
Joan Bennett ... Katharine 'Kitty' March
Dan Duryea ... Johnny Prince
Margaret Lindsay ... Millie Ray
Jess Barker ... David Janeway
Rosalind Ivan ... Adele Cross
Arthur Loft ... Dellarowe
Charles Kemper ... Patch-eye Higgins
Russell Hicks ... J.J. Hogarth
Samuel S. Hinds ... Charles Pringle
Anita Sharp-Bolster ... Mrs. Michaels (as Anita Bolster)
Vladimir Sokoloff ... Pop LeJon
Cy Kendall ... Nick (as Cyrus W. Kendall)
Tom Dillon ... Policeman
It is often said of Fritz Lang that his American films aren't as good as the ones he made in Germany, and judging by the films of his that I've seen so far; this analysis is proving itself to be true...but damn, this one isn't far off. Scarlet Street is simultaneously compelling and unpredictable for it's duration; Lang truly knows how to plot a film, and that is evident throughout. The story follows a banker and aspiring painter, played to perfection by Edward G. Robinson, who saves a young woman from a purse snatcher one night while on his way home from a party. The two begin talking to each other, and the banker 'accidentally' tells the girl that he's paints pictures and gets a lot of money for doing so (Lang shows us the pitfalls of trying to impress young women by way of lies). However, all was not what it seemed with the purse-snatcher, and he's actually the young lady's fiancé; and when he learns that his girlfriend has a man with money after her.... he's out for all he can get!
A lot of Lang's American oeuvre is concentrated on the American justice system and various other crime related things, and this one is no different. Scarlet Street professes that nobody can ever 'get away with murder', and the fantastic climax to the movie shows this masterfully; much more so than many other films that have tried to convey the same message have. Scarlet Street is drenched with irony throughout (ironically, it took a non-American to make an ironic American film). This irony ensures that the film stays interesting, as the audience is never able to guess what's around the corner. There's nothing worse than a predictable film, and Scarlet Street is certainly anything but. The movie is packed with stand out moments, but non stand out more so than the ending. I'm a big fan of horror films and have seen many; but many of those fail to be as chilling as the ending of Scarlet Street. The atmosphere that Lang creates is incredible, and it ranks one of the most powerful psychological mind games that I've ever witnessed on screen. If Fritz Lang set out to put people off murder with this film; I dare say he succeeded. I know I won't be murdering anyone after watching this!
Overall; Scarlet Street is another Fritz Lang masterpiece. While not as mind blowing as Metropolis or as powerful as M; Scarlet Street fills a niche all of it's own. I rate this film as a 'must see', and I can almost guarantee that you will not be disappointed after seeing it.
I am of the firm belief that Orson Welles's Touch Of Evil is the ultimate film noir, but this little gem comes in at a very, very close second.
The Lang direction and visual style is apparent on every frame, and the performance of Edward G. Robinson is among his best, and often strangely neglected.
For me, the essence of noir films has as much to do with the bleak outlook on human existence as it does the visual sense, and at the very beginning of this film, we see (IMHO) the single, most perfect noir moment: Chris Cross (Robinson) is given a dinner, a nice little send off for a nice little man. On his way out, a friend asks if Chris is going to ride the train home, as is his normal pattern. Chris has something on his mind though, and chooses to walk instead.
That one single moment, that one choice... and because of that, this man will lose his home, his wife, his career and the very thing that makes him want to continue, his art.
One moment, one choice, and an entire life is destroyed.
I've seen LA CHIENNE, and although most of SCARLET STREET is a remake, the two are entirely different films. LA CHIENNE is virtually a comedy. In fact, it begins with an introduction by puppets (!), so we know we're not to take the plot very seriously. Renoir's film is light and fun, and is very interesting to watch for comparisons of 'moral standards' between France and Hollywood.
By now, you probably know the story. A sad little man gets involved with a prostitute and her pimp. Hollywood toned down the fact that Robinson and Bennett were involved in a sexual relationship, and the ending of the film had to live up to Hollywood's standards of 'morality'. I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet, but needless to say, the endings between the two films differ in a major way.
What makes SCARLET STREET so outstanding in my opinion, is that given the repressed nature of the protagonist, the film works better because of the changes. You can better understand the pressures of what living as a human doormat has done to this man, and how coiled up he really is. Edward G. Robinson gives one of the best performances of his career, which is saying a lot! I know, there will always be those who will insist on seeing him as the cigar-chomping tough guy only, and won't accept him as anything else, but SCARLET STREET showcases his more subtle talents and his enormous range. Joan Bennett is pure charm and snake oil in this, and Dan Duryea out-weasels Richard Widmark in KISS OF DEATH [in fact, I'll bet good money that the weasel toons in WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT were based on Dan Duryea's character!]. Hollywood films will always falter in comparison to other country's films because the industry's fear of offending audiences always dulls the blade of truth. But, at least during the classic era of Hollywood, the talent usually made up for the story flaws. What do you get when you put Fritz Lang, Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett and Dan Duryea together? Magic!
# Is the first of two remakes Fritz Lang made of Jean Renoir's films. While "La Chienne" (1931) inspired "Scarlet Street" (1945), "La Bête Humaine" (1938) inspired "Human Desire" (1954). Notoriously, Renoir disliked both.