Feature Film Showcase – Scarlet Street (1945)

Showcasing classic movies that have fallen out of copyright and are available freely from the public domain (with streaming video!)

Scarlet Street Fritz Lang
Scarlet Street, 1945.

Directed by Fritz Lang.
Starring Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett and Dan Duryea.

Legendary director Fritz Lang’s eleventh American feature reunites the leading actors from his previous film noir The Woman in the Window (1944) for this adaptation of Georges de La Fouchardière’s novel La Chienne (The Bitch), which had earlier reached the screen in 1931 courtesy of Jean Renoir (Lang would also remake Renoir’s 1938 drama La bête humaine with the 1954 noir Human Desire).

A mild-mannered bank clerk and amateur painter Christopher Cross (Robinson) is going through a mid-life crisis; tired of his job of twenty-five years and unhappy in his marriage, Cross befriends a young woman, Kitty March (Bennett), after saving her from an attacker one night. However Cross doesn’t realise that the attacker is actually Kitty’s boyfriend Johnny Price (Duryea), and when he presents himself to the femme fatale as a wealthy and successful artist the couple set out to take him for everything he has.

A bleak, violent and uncompromising tale, Scarlet Street is notable for being the first mainstream American film in which the crimes of the leading character goes unpunished by the law.



Embed courtesy of Internet Archive.

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