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SCARLET STREET (USA, 1945)

A Chaotic Journey Through Film History

Scarlet Street dir. Fritz Lang

Scarlet Street is a complex and emotionally draining noir from the legendary Fritz Lang. We are introduced to the agonizingly mediocre Chris Cross, a bank teller whose true passion is painting, just before his first encounter with the seductive Kitty. He frightens off an aggressor who has knocked Kitty to the ground (and later turns out to be her boyfriend, Johnny). Chris is instantly enamored, and Kitty believes him to be a famous painter and thus a potential source of money. The two form a relationship that has a different meaning for each. Kitty views Chris as the perfect puppet while she, in turn, is manipulated by her brute of a boyfriend, Johnny. There are so many concepts at work in this film that even without the noir aspect it would be scintillating. This is not a simple plot focused on the solving of a…

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