Scarlet Street (1945)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller  |  28 December 1945 (USA)
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Reviews: 123 user | 72 critic

When a man in mid-life crisis befriends a young woman, her venal fiancé persuades her to con him out of some of the fortune she thinks he has.



(novel) (as Georges De La Fouchardiere) , (novel) (as Mouezy-Eon) , 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Rosalind Ivan ...
Jess Barker ...
Charles Kemper ...
Anita Sharp-Bolster ...
Mrs. Michaels (as Anita Bolster)
Samuel S. Hinds ...
Charles Pringle
Vladimir Sokoloff ...
Pop LeJon
Arthur Loft ...
Russell Hicks ...
J.J. Hogarth


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The things she does to men can end only one way - in murder! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 December 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Almas Perversas  »

Box Office


$1,202,007 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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. See more »


When Adele first questions Chris about Katherine March, the position of the knife he is holding drastically changes between shots. See more »


[first lines]
Bank Employees: [singing] 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.
[repeat chorus]
See more »


Referenced in L.A. Noire (2011) See more »


For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
Folk song, sung by J. J. Hogarth employees at celebratory banquet
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Film Noir with shades removed
13 September 2001 | by (Surrey, B.C.) – See all my reviews

SCARLET STREET is, no doubt, one of Hollywood's first mature forays into the relationship of a prostitute with her pimp and her client.

Until 1945, the big screen's version of a 'lady of the night' was almost waif-like in her mien, casting innocent doe-like eyes at any gentleman who would like to share "a spot of tea" for a nominal fee. As portrayed by Joan Bennett, Kitty is cool,cynical, calculating, a 'ho' who is world weary and holds no illusions. Dan Duryea as her slick, slimy pimp/boyfriend, Johnny, matches Kitty scene for scene in the seediness of their relationship. "Lazylegs" is Johnny's term of affection for his Kitty when he's not cuffing her about openly on the streets.

Then there's the third wheel to this tragic ride, Edward G. Robinson as the henpecked husband Chris Cross who also happens to be a frustrated weekend artist. Kitty sees Chris as a hearty meal ticket as Chris laps up Kitty's milk, little realizing that his dream girl is a nightmare in waiting.

Director Fritz Lang's unflinching finale leaves the viewer drained of emotion. There is no Hollywood happy ending at the end of SCARLET STREET, just a back alley of guilt, punishment and shame.

It is no coincidence that 'Melancholy Baby' is refrained throughout this flick. As played on Kitty's phonograph, the record is scratched and skips over and over at the same spot. For this recording is, like all the characters who reside on SCARLET STREET, damaged goods.

41 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Prostitute and pimp? trippycheez
Why is it entitled ' Scarlet Street'? osuhaha
Was this film banned in New York? ispence1224
Is Scarlet Street better than Women in the window? frank316
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