Sunday, January 2, 2011

Scarlet Street


Comparisons are odious, but here goes anyway. If you want to see if a terrific melodrama about art, watch Scarlet Street, the 1945 Fritz Lang film. Wonderful script and performances, too. Edward G. Robinson is very touching as the archetypal little man bedevilled by not one but two she-wolves. Dan Duryea is enormously energetic as a cad. The script is both thoughtful and witty. Eventually, The Robinson character is revenged on both women, but it costs him. The film also works as an examination of art and commerce. Unlike the film I'm comparing this one to, it lets the audience think. Also I must mention, the studio apartment in which the plot advances is to die for - apparently there was a time when studio apartment meant, you know, an apartment with a studio IN it. The Hayes commission makes an appearance by forcing the director to stick a bed (referred to as a couch) in the living room to imply goings on. Excerpt on Youtube here

You have a problem with perspective, dontcha?
                                           - Johnny Prince

18 comments:

Jasmine said...

Sounds good to me Susan. Happy New Year! Thank you for the card, I love it. Did you get mine yet? xxxJ

Chris David Richards said...

There's something unsettling about the picture. It might be the blood red curtains, or the violent look in his eyes.

Tom said...

amazing likeness--but i hope to see him smiling in the movie

California Girl said...

I've never heard of this movie which surprizes me. Sounds great! Love your "odious" critique. Very British of you.

Nice caricature of E.G. too.

Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

I really love this film, and it has some really nice dark bits of humor along the way. E.G. was a great gangster, but I love him even more in this type of role as a decent older man who will eventually stand up for himself when pushed too far.

California Girl said...

went & viewed the YouTube segment...
I am hooked. Now I have to find the movie to watch in entirety. I stopped watching when the harridan wife came home and accused him of copying another artist. What a twist. Robinson is soooo pathetically naive. I always hate that. Joan Bennett is the conniving mistress,
"They'll be masterpieces!"

ArtSparker said...

Cg- on instant play on netflix. The same team of actors and director made the earlier "Woman in the Window" - not sure about the scriptwriter for that.

Celeste Bergin said...

I can hear your Edward G. saying ...."Nyah, nyah". Too bad he was so typecast by that--but those idiosyncrasies were also a lot of fun--knowing what to expect was half the fun back in yesteryear. He was a wonderful actor. I love your drawing of him...great resemblance and the are around the paint brush is wonderful.

Eva said...

Yes, great similarity; I recognized him before I had a glimpse on this movie clip. I'd love to see so many more original movies, but our country seems to be obsessed by dubbing, we hardly ever see the original on tv which I think is a shame.

steve said...

Thanks for the review/recommendation Susan. Of course I loved Metropolis, and the theme here sounds like something I'd be interested in for sure.

ma grande folle de soeur said...

Your possibilities are always amazing. Happy 2011! :)

Titus said...

Stunning! Love the physique, the brush as weapon and that red.

grrl + dog said...

who would have thought a studio apartment had it's origins there?

Almost too obvious to mention.

Since my studio is the erstwhile booted-from-nest step son's room, I guess it's a studio house?

hmm.. not quite the same ring to it.

urbandon (Don Pezzano) said...

Sounds good and juicy- will check it out.

Dam Ferreira said...

very nice

Charles Gramlich said...

One of the nastiest she-wolves on film is in the Twilight Zone episode, "Time enough at last." The little man's wife. Oh wow.

Tomás Serrano said...

Many time since you left a movies´ celebrity at your blog. Beautiful image according the film.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Edward (Gee Mrs) Robinson never looked so cool.