7.1/10
293
15 user 5 critic

The Scarlet Hour (1956)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | April 1956 (USA)
An unhappy wife uses her powers of manipulation to draw an infatuated man into an ill-fated jewelry heist.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Alford Van Ronkel (screenplay) (as Rip Van Ronkel), Frank Tashlin (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Carol Ohmart ... Pauline 'Paulie' Nevins
Tom Tryon ... E.V. 'Marsh' Marshall
Jody Lawrance ... Kathy Stevens
James Gregory ... Ralph Nevins
Elaine Stritch ... Phyllis Rycker
E.G. Marshall ... Lt. Jennings
Edward Binns ... Sgt. Allen
David Lewis ... Dr. Sam Lynbury
Billy Gray ... Tom Rycker
Jacques Aubuchon ... Fat Boy
Scott Marlowe ... Vince
Johnstone White ... Tom Raymond
James Stone James Stone ... Dean Franklin (as James F. Stone)
Maureen Hurley Maureen Hurley ... Mrs. Lynbury
James Todd James Todd ... Inspector Paley
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Storyline

In Los Angeles, salesman E.V. 'Marsh' Marshall works for wealthy real-estate developer Ralph Nevins. In his spare time he sleeps with his boss' wife, Pauline Nevins. She was saved from poverty by Ralph when they married but Ralph is much older than her and she hates him. Of course, she loves his money and that's why she doesn't leave him for the much younger office hunk Marsh. Despite the secret affair, Marsh respects his boss who gives him promotions and praises. Nevertheless, he would elope with his boss' wife but she wouldn't hear of it. Love is one thing but a return to a life without luxuries is another. At the office, Ralph Nevins' secretary, young Kathy Stevens, secretly loves office beau Marsh but she is too shy to reveal her feelings. She would later play a crucial role in a murder investigation involving the main characters. During one of their secret interludes under the moon, Marsh and Pauline Nevins witness a discussion between three shady men who are planning to steal ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Another Dramatic Hit From Academy Award Director Michael Curtiz!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Kiss-Off See more »

Filming Locations:

Beverly Hills, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Elaine Stritch. See more »

Quotes

Ralph Nevins: Where have you been?
Pauline 'Paulie' Nevins: I went to a movie.
Ralph Nevins: Until two a.m.?
Pauline 'Paulie' Nevins: I liked it. I saw it again.
See more »

Connections

References White Christmas (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Never Let Me Go
by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
Sung by Nat 'King' Cole
(a Capitol Recording Artist)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Impressive overachiever.
12 May 2018 | by st-shotSee all my reviews

Warner Brothers 30s 40s director Michael Curtiz was well past his prime when he made this lower tier work rich in both mood and atmospherics for Paramount. Grazing in Billy Wilder Double Indemnity territory it lacks the first string line-up of Stanwyck, MacMurray and Robinson but the second team acquits itself well enough to make this a pretty suspenseful piece.

"Marsh" Marshall (Tom Tryon) and his boss's wife Pauline are having some illicit recreation at a local lover's lane when they overhear three men planning a major heist. Pauline, the spine in the relationship concocts an idea to rob them after they pull the job. The pliable Marsh (mellow?) blinded by Pauline's sexiness and passion reluctantly goes along.

Well paced Scarlet Hour runs on deception and betrayal with plenty of double cross along the way weaving in the thieves subplot to the major theme of the adulterous leads seamlessly as fatale Pauline must manipulate three men to her grand plan.

Tryon and Ohmarht are fine if inconsistent at times while a supporting cast of hang dog looking pros (James Gregory, EG Marshall, Edward Binns, Elaine Strich, Rene Aubuchon, James Lewis) add sober gravitas.

Special mention goes to the camera work of Lionel Liddon who keeps us in the dark (a majority of the film takes place in the evening) with some bold chiaroscuro compositions that up the noir tenor and elevate Scarlet Hour to an impressive overachiever.


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