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Scarlet Street (1945)

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Fritz Lang’s classic film noir about a meek and unhappily married cashier, Christopher Cross (Edward G. Robinson), who longs to be a Greenwich Village artist. After breaking up a robbery attempt to save beautiful Kitty March (Joan Bennett), he falls hopelessly in love. He is blind to the fact that Kitty is a prostitute, and the man who accosted her is her pimp, Johnny Prince (Dan Duryea). After Chris sets her up in a Greenwich Village apartment where he can paint, Johnny concocts a scheme to sell Chris’s paintings, but when the art world discovers them, Chris confronts Kitty about stealing his work. Having been deceived in love, he stabs her with an ice pick. Although Chris gets away with murder when Johnny is convicted and executed for the crime, the film ends with Chris hanging himself (reluctantly added by Lang to satisfy the Motion Picture Hays code that no crime shall go unpunished).


-Corinth Films

Watch Barbara Bordwell McGrew's introduction to the film.

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