1h 42mins – Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller
Friday September 6th at 7:30pm
Remastered and restored edition of this film noir masterpiece
Scarlet Street is one of the blackest films noir in pretty much any film fan’s canon (yes, even by 1945 standards and the puritanical rules made up by Hays Production Code office). It is a tale of con artistry, the theft of artistic ideas (literally), jealousy, grifting, domestic rot, unrequited love, murder, and a tormented conscience. It is a remake (yes, a remake) executed by one the finest artistic exports to the United States from Europe, director Fritz Lang. It is BLACK as the deepest psychological tar pits of despair can get. The film stars Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, and Dan Duryea.
Chris Cross, 25 years a cashier, has a gold watch and little else. That rainy night, he rescues femme fatale Kitty “Lazy Legs” March (Joan Bennett) 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. As in all noir, this escalates very quickly to very nasty things. Scarlet Street still stands out as a profoundly dark look at dreams that were dashed and failed, and just how desperately we as human beings will cling to those romantic notions.