Scarlet Street
Reviewed in February 2010
Director: Fritz Lang. Cast: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea, Rosalind Ivan, Margaret Lindsay, Russell Hicks, Jess Barker, Vladimir Sokoloff, Arthur Loft, Samuel S. Hinds, Charles Kemper, Anita Sharp-Bolster, Lou Lubin, Syd Saylor, Kerry Vaughn. Screenplay: Dudley Nichols (based on the novel and the play La Chienne by Georges de la Fouchardière and André Mouézy-Éon).

Photo © 1945 Universal Pictures
"For he's a jolly good fellow...," EGR gets 25 years service watch from JJ; Holding on the men's lighting cigars for a few beats, EGR crossing his fingers superstitiously; EGR jealous of JJ's young blonde inamorata; EGR never looked at that way, wanted to be painter, now only every Sunday; walking the rain-wetted streets (very WW); Sees a man slapping a woman in long shot, and then showving hr into a lamppost and kicking her on the ground; her jaw is broken?; JB takes melodramatic stance as she looks at DD's prostrate body (inevitably); wide-legged and footbally; crinkly plastic raincoat - she doesn't want her name in the newspapers, "OH, it's a NUISANCE"; Mae Westy "sorry I can't ask you to come up..."; JB an uncomfortably coarse actress, and EBG isn't far behind - "You're an ARTist!" - selling dialogue and street-smartness awful hard, EGR being klutzily "abashed"; EGR: "I think it's the most fun I know, painting" - grayed hair vis-a-vis WW; flower 1557; Kitty, who's Johnny? - musical blomp, husky linebacker turnaround "Why do you ask that?"; "Lazy Legs"; EGR's wife of 5 years, first husband policeman drowned in East River trying to save a woman, never found; huge painting in small apt; Tawdry reveal of DD and JB at home, GREAT skipping record with JB on couch; DD wants her to fleece EGR, whom they think of as wealthy (despite comparably small, ratty apt); "You owulnd't know love if it hit you in the face" / "Well, if that's where it hits you, you ought to know"; Almost steals $500 for JB out of JJ's safe cabinet, but puts it back - Lang loves these scenes of felonious temptatoin; EGR stealing his wife Adele's "old age" bonds; unnecessarily odious Adele; JB's purse during apt scout = EGR's stylized painting of a flower; DD - "Where's the bedroom?"; 4047; 4450; JB's tiresome old-woman voice and DD's plankish vowels and slow, self-conscious deliveries; JJ: "I just cuahgt you in time," as he's stealing $1000 for JB in Cashier window; Washington Sq: "Well, they've got a certain - something - they've got no perspective..."; "People don't buy art these days - no taste, no appreciation," a bit self-serving; DD, after painting scam: "You've always wanted to be an actress, here's your chance"; Janeway: "Your work is not only original, it has a masculine force"; 10235; Complex cells and window-paneled walls and doors of studio apt; 10717 or something - toenails; Adele discovering paintings; EGR in frilly apron with knife 10845; EGR: "It's just like we were married, only I take YOUR name"; 11228; 11253; 11353; 11408; Eye-patched husband turning back up, paid off for $200; DD borrowing an ice-pick, for no reason but false suspense; Another great record-skip as EGR shows up late to the studio, after Patch-Eye "robs" Adele; Dissolve of DD storming out into EGR stewing at bar - matching the two men's tempers; "Said he was coming back here? TO BEAT ME UP! Jeeeepers" - lunging around the bed, brutalizing her lines; Laughing Medusa - "Oh, you idiot - how could a man be so DUMB... I'm so SICK of you SICK SICK SICK - she's just atrocious"; crazy akimbo tell-off; ice-picking her to death; rakish driving intro hydrant > JB's big scene; DD smashing his way into the apartment front door; JJ Hogarth can't make himself prosecute - "I'm not gonna put you in jail, Chris, only of course you're through" - EGR doing his best, soggiest sadsack; Series of testimonies in CU get DD headed to the electric chair in Sing Sing; "A little courtroom right in here - judge, jury, and executor" - poking at his heart - prophesizing eternal, internalized guilt; EGR - curdled music, low strings, flashing lights of outside strobing; He's hearing JB and DD voices; EGR tries to hang himself, is revived by neighbor, but DD's and JB's voices are immediately repeating; (nodded off three times); Sleeping on a snow bench; the police rustling him back to the Bowery; "Crazy idea he killed a couple of people five or six years ago, always trying to give himself up - you know these nuts"; Painting of JB being moved int o a gallery; EGR looks legitimately careworn by the end; $10,000 sale; Portentous timpani and low brass; dissolve - either a time-lapse or EGR doesn't notice anyone except those plaguing, tin-echo voices; B–

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