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Scarlet Street
IMDB Rating: 7.9/10 from 18 votes
Release: 1949 (Netherlands) /

Scarlet Street

Genre: Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller
Director: Georges de La Fouchardière,
Stars: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Synopsis: 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 <[email protected]>

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Critic Reviews

I've seen LA CHIENNE, and although most of SCARLET STREET is a remake, the two are entirely different films. LA CHIENNE is virtually a comedy. In fact, it begins with an introduction by puppets (!), so we know we're not to take the plot very seriously. Renoir's film is light and fun, and is very interesting to watch for comparisons of 'moral standards' between France and Hollywood.

By now, you probably know the story. A sad little man gets involved with a prostitute and her pimp. Hollywood toned down the fact that Robinson and Bennett were involved in a sexual relationship, and the ending of the film had to live up to Hollywood's standards of 'morality'. I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet, but needless to say, the endings between the two films differ in a major way.

What makes SCARLET STREET so outstanding in my opinion, is that given the repressed nature of the protagonist, the film works better because of the changes. You can better understand the pressures of what living as a human doormat has done to this man, and how coiled up he really is. Edward G. Robinson gives one of the best performances of his career, which is saying a lot! I know, there will always be those who will insist on seeing him as the cigar-chomping tough guy only, and won't accept him as anything else, but SCARLET STREET showcases his more subtle talents and his enormous range. Joan Bennett is pure charm and snake oil in this, and Dan Duryea out-weasels Richard Widmark in KISS OF DEATH [in fact, I'll bet good money that the weasel toons in WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT were based on Dan Duryea's character!]. Hollywood films will always falter in comparison to other country's films because the industry's fear of offending audiences always dulls the blade of truth. But, at least during the classic era of Hollywood, the talent usually made up for the story flaws. What do you get when you put Fritz Lang, Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett and Dan Duryea together? Magic!

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