YouTube Noir: Noirvember Day 16: Scarlet Street (1945)

Dan Duryea. Joan Bennett. Edward G. Robinson. Fritz Lang.

Talk about a winning combination.

They’re the principals who brought to life yet another one of my favorite noirs, Scarlet Street (1945). It’s been in the public domain for so long that I’ll be surprised if anyone’s left who hasn’t seen it – but if you’re out there, I envy you the experience of your first-time viewing of this superb feature.

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Not exactly Antony and Cleopatra.

Robinson stars as Christopher Cross, a middle-aged, unhappily married cashier and painting hobbyist who gets more than he bargained for when he gallantly rescues a young woman, Kitty March (Bennett), from an attacker in the street. Chris is soon head over heels for Kitty, who he believes is an actress (and who, in turn, is convinced that Chris is a famous artist). Forming the third part of this criminally dysfunctional triangle is Kitty’s con-man boyfriend, Johnny (Duryea).

WHAT ELSE?

Scarlet Street was the remake of the 1931 Jean Renoir film, La Chienne, which means “the bitch” in French. If you haven’t seen this film, it’s totally worth tracking down.

“I want to paint your picture, Kitty.”

Duryea, Robinson, and Bennett appeared the previous year in the Fritz Lang-directed Woman in the Window. Of the two, Scarlet Street is by far my favorite (primarily because of the way Woman in the Window ends), but they’re both first-rate.

After the success of Woman in the Window, Bennett, Lang, and producer (and Bennett’s then-husband) Walter Wanger formed an independent film company, Diana Productions, named after Bennett’s oldest daughter. Scarlet Street was the first feature under the Diana Productions banner.

TOMORROW . . .

Join me for my next YouTube recommendation on Day 17 of Noirvember!

~ by shadowsandsatin on November 16, 2020.

2 Responses to “YouTube Noir: Noirvember Day 16: Scarlet Street (1945)”

  1. A perfect noir ending.

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