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Slightly Scarlet (1956)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 483 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 12 critic

Kleptomaniac Dorothy Lyons is paroled from prison in custody of her sister June, secretary to "reform" political candidate Frank Jansen. Ben Grace, associate of crime boss Sol Caspar, sees ... See full summary »

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Title: Slightly Scarlet (1956)

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Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Ben Grace
...
June Lyons - Jansen's Secretary / Girlfriend
...
Dorothy Lyons
Kent Taylor ...
Frank Jansen - Mayoral Candidate / Mayor of Bay City
...
Solly Caspar - syndicate hood
Lance Fuller ...
Gauss
Buddy Baer ...
Lenhardt - Caspar Goon
Edit

Storyline

Kleptomaniac Dorothy Lyons is paroled from prison in custody of her sister June, secretary to "reform" political candidate Frank Jansen. Ben Grace, associate of crime boss Sol Caspar, sees this as a way to smear Jansen's campaign. But after falling out with Caspar, Ben tries to help June, who he begins to fall for. Sexy Dorothy also has a yen for Ben. June is reluctantly forced to go along with Ben's schemes, but there may be more to these than meets the eye... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Out of the shadows of a vice-ridden city comes James M. Cain's most explosive drama! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 February 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Straße des Verbrechens  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See  »

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User Reviews

 
A hothouse flower from James M. Cain
14 May 2001 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

James M. Cain's first Hollywood fusillade went off in the mid-1940s, with Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce and The Postman Always Rings Twice, all adapted from his books, helping to set the tone and the parameters for the noir cycle just getting up steam. In the mid-50s, he had a second wind, with Serenade and, from Love's Lovely Counterfeit, Allen Dwan's Slightly Scarlet. While not one of Cain's better works or one of the better movies made from them, it has its ample fascinations. Legendary noir director of photography John Alton works in color here, and startlingly enlivens his customary dark trapezoids with bursts of lime green, flame orange and orchid. (The rare films noirs done in color seem even more decadent: see Leave Her to Heaven and Desert Fury). John Payne reprises his solid, sullen self as a fence-straddling minor mobster who sees his chance to take control of the machine in a mid-sized midwestern city. His twin carrot-topped temptations are sisters Rhonda Fleming, as the mayor's gal Friday, and Arlene Dahl, who has just been released from prison -- she's a loony, man-devouring klepto (and Dahl does her proud. There's even a scene when Fleming finds the message "Goodbye Sister" scrawled in lipstick on her bedroom mirror). Too bad there was a lot of (unnecessary) rewriting of Cain's story; the ending is sourly ambiguous. But this is late noir in garish overdrive, and movies aren't much more fun than that.


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