Scarlet Street

Scarlet Street

Downloadable Video - 1945
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Considered by many to be one of Fritz Lang's best films, Scarlet Street was controversial and at the time of its release was banned in some states. Edward G. Robinson plays a middle-aged bank cashier who is seduced by Kitty (Joan Bennett), a beautiful but devious woman who sees an opportunity to fund her lifestyle and that of her unscrupulous lover Johnny (Dan Duryea). The film is a powerful and often disturbing portrait of human relationships, emotions and consequences.


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The hands of fate grip like a vise in Fritz Lang's darkest journey through the lower depths. Robinson's portrayal of married cashier and hobby painter Chris Cross is wonderful, as we see him slide into less than honorable means of getting cash for his slovenly femme fatale and her sleazy ratbag pimp. There's one delicious moment of comic relief, though, but of course punishment for all at the end. Nevertheless, the film was banned in New York State.
Unfortunately, the Questar DVD that Tulsa Public Library has is awful, made from a bad print with scratches and even pieces of tape all over it. What's more, it's blurry and the contrast is low, meaning the blacks are dark gray and the whites are dirty. Turning up the contrast on your TV helps a little. If you are really interested in seeing the movie at its best, look for another source. Kino Lorber and TCM sell DVDs which would be good bets. The film is in the public domain and any bozo can make a DVD of it without permission.

Apr 28, 2018

A "me too" film for all those me tooing. An employee wants what his boss has a young female, he gets it by stealing retro specting the female cons the old man with her pimping boyfriend...ending with all the me tooing get their justice; loss lives, and loss of peace of mind.
Morality films this is great.

Oct 04, 2017

Those old movies must rely on the strength of plot, character actors, sets and bells and whistles without the benefit of special effects, gore and other shocking scenes to pass censorship. Good to see some of the best from that era in DVD. No captions or subtitles and not really needed since there were none for audiences back in the days.

Mar 16, 2017

Normally I'm not enthusiastic about films of this time period, but I viewed it for Edward G Robinson's sake. After watching it I have one thing to say. WOW. Amazing film simply amazing. Has outcomes that might normally get cut by the censors. 5 stars. I must now watch the French film on which this is based. If you like films like "Vertigo", you will like this.

Vincent T Lombardo Dec 22, 2015

Dark, moody but excellent drama about a lonely, sensitive artist who becomes obsessed over a woman, with tragic results. The screenplay, direction, and cinematography are excellent, and the performances are outstanding, especially Edward G. Robinson.

Nov 04, 2013

Reuniting the principals (stars Robinson and Bennett, director Lang) from the previous year's "The Woman in the Window," this is a bleak, claustrophobic film noir that involves a decent, but foolish man, a femme fatale and her scuzzy boyfriend. Lang takes guilt and obsession to darker places than Hitchcock often did. Robinson is very good in a rather pathetic role, but it lacks Lang's usual visual style and strong atmosphere. Incredibly dark, feel bad ending.

Aug 14, 2013

Fritz Lang--dang! What an unhappy man he must have been! From his German films ("M," especially), his escape to America a step ahead of the Gestapo, to his first American film, "Fury," through "Ministry of Fear," "The Woman in the Window," even his most-bizarre Western "Rancho Notorious." They're out to get you; you can't win. Hate, murder, and revenge (lyrics from the "Rancho" sound-track) Edward G. Robinson is the perfect sad-sack (someone once defined film noir as "a stupid man mixed up with a dangerous woman" or something like that). Spoiler alert: the fact that the germy Dan Duryea takes the fall for Ed's crime went clearly against the moral standards of the American film of the era, but the poor old guy winds up in hell just as surely, and we view the damage. Reminds me of the novels of Jim Thompson. Brr.

rufus_red4 Apr 04, 2013

The first 1/3 of this movie is a perfectly enjoyable light film noir. Edward G. Robinson is very good as the lonely man in an abusive marriage. Joan Bennett makes a very casual and dumb girl who lives to get slapped around by her boyfriend. This very sexist story then evolves into a lurid and preposterous chain of events that doesn't quite get camp enough. A very poor script and characters that are reprehensible does not a good film make, despite it being released in 1946, the golden age of film.

Jan 05, 2013

Man, I felt so bad for poor, sweet little Edward G.! 'Chris Cross'. More like Double Crossed. Such a naïve, nice little chump, but not necessarily saint-like, cheating on that old crone at home with that minx on the side. He had a face like a frog though. "Lazy Legs" was out of his league. And Jeepers, Johnny was always in the picture! You'd think he'd wise up. Love is deaf, dumb, and blind, unfortunately. Mostly dumb. (It took a divorce for me to figure that out.) Great flick from Fritz Lang. Duryea was slime; Joan Bennett was a hottie, in a cheap, trampy kind of way.

Jul 14, 2011

Stunning story of lonely married man Chris Cross who rescues street walker Kitty and then falls for her. She soon leads him to commit theft in order to give her and her pimp boyfriend everything they want. When Chris finds out the real story, Kitty winds up dead and a plot twist leads to Chris' own life unraveling.


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Oct 04, 2017

SPOILER ALERT Love is blind:
We all make mistakes. I don't care what's happened, I... I can marry you now, I... I want you to be my wife. We'll go away together, away far off, so... You can forget this other man. Don't cry, Kitty. Please don't cry.
-I'm not crying you fool, I'm laughing!
-Oh you idiot, how can a man be so dumb?
-I've wanted to laugh in your face ever since I first met you! You're old and ugly and I'm sick of you. Sick! Sick! Sick!

Jan 05, 2013

Adele Cross: "Next thing you'll be painting women without clothes." Christopher Cross: "I never saw a woman without any clothes." Adele Cross: "I should hope not!"


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