7.9/10
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Scarlet Street (1945)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller | 28 December 1945 (USA)
When a man in mid-life crisis befriends a young woman, her venal fiancé persuades her to con him out of the fortune they mistakenly assume he possesses.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Georges de La Fouchardière (novel) (as Georges De La Fouchardiere), André Mouézy-Éon (novel) (as Mouezy-Eon) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Edward G. Robinson ... Christopher Cross
Joan Bennett ... Katharine 'Kitty' March
Dan Duryea ... Johnny Prince
Margaret Lindsay ... Millie Ray
Rosalind Ivan ... Adele Cross
Jess Barker ... Damon Janeway
Charles Kemper ... Homer Higgins
Anita Sharp-Bolster ... Mrs. Michaels (as Anita Bolster)
Samuel S. Hinds ... Charles Pringle
Vladimir Sokoloff ... Pop LeJon
Arthur Loft ... Dellarowe
Russell Hicks ... J.J. Hogarth
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Hello, Lazylegs! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 December 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Almas Perversas See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,202,007 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,948,386, 31 December 1945
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The two paintings Dan Duryea tries to pawn, and later leaves with the artist displaying his work on the street, turned up in 1964 in the window of Reginald Gardiner's art gallery in Burke's Law: Who Killed What's His Name? (1964). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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 »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Edited into This Is It (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Melancholy Baby
(uncredited)
by Ernie Burnett and George A. Norton
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Film Noir with shades removed
13 September 2001 | by dbonkSee 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.


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