Monday, March 25, 2013

Criterion on Hulu: Scarlet Street (1945)

Scarlet Street movie poster
Scarlet Street (1945) – Directed by Fritz Lang; Written by Dudley Nichols; Cinematography by Milton Krasner; Starring Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea, Margaret Lindsay, Jess Barker, Rosalind Ivan, Arthur Loft, Charles Kemper, Russell Hicks, Samuel S. Hinds, Anita Sharp-Bolster, Vladimir Sokoloff, Cy Kendall, Tom Dillon.

By Kenny Howell

An extremely underrated movie from one of cinema’s masters; Fritz Lang (M). Edward G. Robinson made a career out of playing tough guys, but he shows his range in this film as a man that gets trampled on by everyone around him.

Robinson (Double Indemnity) plays Christopher Cross, a man who has just celebrated his 25th year as a cashier. When he saves a young woman, Kitty, from an abusive boyfriend, he strikes up a relationship her. Problem is that he leads her to believe he is a famous painter. Kitty and her boyfriend take advantage of the nice man’s lie and sell his work as if it was Kitty’s. Cross has quite the gift, so Kitty becomes a star. This leads the movie to its terrific, inevitable conclusion.

Robinson is just about perfect in the film, wonderfully capturing a man who just wants to be wanted, whether it be by a woman, or the art crowd. Underseen, should be classic.

Rating: ****

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