Scarlet Street Movie Review Summary

Actors: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Scarlet Street

Scarlet Street (1945), directed by Fritz Lang.

Christopher Cross is a nerdy middle-aged bank clerk with little personal successes and excitements of the kind that would befit a showcase male in US society of the fourties. He is unathletic, a little overweight and rather short of height, wears unfashionable clothes, and is dominated by his wife who tolerates him only as the breadwinner and has otherwise little respect for his personality. But underneath this nerdy, pitiable, and little exciting surface, Chris is a talented and passionate man who spends most of his free time as a hobby painter, using the bathroom as his studio as his wife would not tolerate the smell of the paint in their living quarters.
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One evening, when Chris is walking home from a celebratory get-together with his colleagues at the bank he sees a young woman being attacked by a man on the sidewalk. He hurries to come to her defense, and after some minor struggle the attacker takes off. Chris is both elated at his rare display of masculinity and charmed by the young woman; he asks her for a drink at a nearby dining facility, which she reluctantly accepts. The two of them subsequently begin to date, and Chris becomes obsessed with Kitty, seeing in her a last opportunity to eventually find self-fulfillment and romantic love.

In his blindness and naiveté, he does not realize that Kitty is a con-artist who has teamed up with her boyfriend Johnny to lure men like Chris into a trap and live off their money. When Chris rents an apartment for himself and Kitty, a place where he could both do his painting and see her undisturbed by wife or colleagues, Kitty and Johnny decide to take advantage of Chris's talents as a painter. Unbeknownst to Chris, they gradually begin to exhibit his paintings under Kitty's name to make a profit from them. In doing so, they steal from Chris the only opportunity he had ever had to become truly successful in the eyes of society.

Eventually, Chris finds out about the fraud yet -- selfless and blinded by love as he is -- is willing to forgive Kitty if she agrees to marry him. But when she laughs about him in his face and reveals the nature of her liaison with Johnny, the little man finally strikes back: He kills Kitty and carefully plans to get Johnny indicted for the murder and hanged. For this he is even willing to publicly deny that he ever painted any of the pictures that Kitty had exhibited under her own name...
The review of this Movie prepared by Dorothea Lotter

Script Analysis of Scarlet Street

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1930's-1950's Romance/Love/Hugging    -   Yes Kind of romance:    -   spurned lover goes for revenge    -   romancing for business purpose Lover is...    -   criminal/bad doer

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   artist Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American


United States    -   Yes City?    -   Yes City:    -   dangerous

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Any profanity?    -   None Is this movie based on a    -   book

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