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. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The car Johnny pulls up in is a 1935 Packard Super Eight Sport Phaeton. In 2016 these cars can fetch well into six figures at auction. See more »
The story takes place in 1934, but all of Margaret Lindsay's and Joan Bennett's clothes, shoes and hairstyles are strictly in the 1945 mode, which had considerably changed during the intervening eleven years. The featured taxicab is of late 1930s vintage, about three years too new. See more »
For he's a jolly good fellow. For he's a jolly good fellow. For he's a jolly good fellow... which nobody can deny. Which nobody can deny. Which nobody can deny. Which nobody can deny.
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Edward G. Robinson gives the most subtle - and possibly the greatest - performance of his career in this, the most depressing film ever made. Such a devastating ending is hardly possible these days, and indeed wasn't supposed to have been in 1945. "Immoral, corrupt and tending to incite crime," they called it, "A Hollywood movie we can do without." Perhaps the subversive ending was Lang's answer to those who had criticised his 'cop-out' ending for 'The Woman In the Window' a year earlier. The other two leads - Duryea and Bennett - are brilliant as well, and all the actors make us feel in the end that no one has got what they deserved. 'Scarlet Street' has so many beautifully subtle touches in it that it really has to be seen several times in order to be fully appreciated: the parallel between Kitty and Chris' flower (his 'problems with perspective'); the expression that flashes over Kitty's face when Chris 'confesses' that he's a married man; the brief reference at the beginning to Chris's superstition, which will eventually bring about his psychological downfall. Like many Lang films, it deals with the concept of criminal justice, and is a clever, cruel and fascinating film - a little dated technically, but far ahead of its time, and one of the greatest and blackest film noirs from the forties. The climax is still one of the most chilling in film history - more frightening than most of the great horror films.
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