• Post category:Movies
  • Post last modified:March 8, 2022

Scarlet Street

Joan Bennett and Edward G. Robinson. Photo: Universal

Christopher Cross (Edward G. Robinson), a cashier who’s stuck in a lifeless marriage and a dead-end job, is charmed by Kitty (Joan Bennett) who, goaded by her no-good boyfriend (Dan Duryea), tries to squeeze money out of him. The Woman in the Window (1944) turned out to be great film noir, so director Fritz Lang and the three stars decided to have another stab at the genre the following year. This is a remake of Jean Renoir’s La Chienne (1931); it’s a clever story, well managed by Lang, even though he doesn’t quite make good on its potential. Robinson is convincing with his pleading, pathetic look as he tries to please his women; the co-stars are amusing as unhappy, cheap and greedy partners-in-crime.

1945-U.S. 103 min. B/W. Produced and directed byĀ Fritz Lang. Screenplay: Dudley Nichols. Cast: Edward G. Robinson (Christopher Cross), Joan Bennett (Kitty March), Dan Duryea (Johnny Prince), Margaret Lindsay, Rosalind Ivan.

Last word: “I discussed it with Nichols, and we bought it very cheaply from Paramount. My idea was to transpose the story from Paris into a kind of similar American milieu, retaining the basic situation of the novel by Georges de la FouchardiĆØre. I wanted to set it in Greenwich Village in New York, and that’s exactly what Dudley Nichols and I did, retitling it ‘Scarlet Street’. Neither of us looked at the Renoir film again; not a single scene was copied, and in that sense it was really one hundred per cent Dudley Nichols’s creation.” (Lang, “Fritz Lang: Interviews”)

 

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