Scarlet Street (1945)

Scarlet Street  (1945)  Front Cover DVD

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Scarlet Street  (1945)  Back Cover DVD

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Deception involves two parties: the deceiver and the deceived. In film noir, a main character will often play both roles. In Scarlet Street (1945), Kitty March (Joan Bennett) deceives Chris Cross (Edward G. Robinson) into believing that she loves him. A central theme in the film is that people are deceived by a false dream when they have a wrong perception of reality.

In the opening scene, Chris is a man of honesty and integrity. At a work party in his honor, he receives a watch for 25 years of faithful service. However, the night he meets Kitty, he begins to compromise his moral values, not telling her that he is married. Later, when Kitty hints that she needs money for a new apartment, he steals the money for her. Overpowered by his desire for Kitty, Chris is willing to do anything to be with her: to lie and to steal.

When Chris's dream is shattered, his identity implodes. Shocked by the realization that Kitty deceived him, he murders her with an ice-pick, and later lies on the witness stand, sending Johnny Prince (Dan Duryea) to the gas chamber. Chris's shattered identity results in the complete loss of his conscience. His identity is shattered because the dream of being with Kitty was only thing that mattered in his life. He sacrificed everything to be with her.

Although Chris is responsible for the deaths of Kitty and Johnny, the final sequence gives us hope that his conscience has been restored. Five years later, he is homeless, asleep on a park bench in the cold of winter. A police officer says that Chris wanted to be sentenced and executed for two murders and tried to turn himself in. This shows us that his sense of right and wrong has returned, a small measure of redemption.

The pursuit of a false dream shattered Chris when he finally faced reality. His desire to be with Kitty was an attempt to escape from the pain of his present reality: an unhappy marriage and a mundane job. Chris's tragic end serves as a warning: In the pursuit of a dream, we must not lose our conscience. If we lose our conscience, we lose our soul.


Edward G. Robinson as Christopher Cross
Joan Bennett as Katharine 'Kitty' March
Dan Duryea as Johnny Prince
Margaret Lindsay as Millie Ray
Rosalind Ivan as Adele Cross
Jess Barker as David Janeway
Charles Kemper as Homer Higgins
Anita Sharp-Bolster as Mrs. Michaels
Samuel S. Hinds as Charles Pringle
Vladimir Sokoloff as Pop LeJon
Arthur Loft as Dellarowe
Russell Hicks as J.J. Hogarth
Cy Kendall as Nick
Syd Saylor as Tom Crocker, Evening Globe
Dick Wessel as Detective
Will Wright as Globe Loan Office Manager

The cost of this item is $9.99. This is good quality picture and sound. This DVD comes with artwork, label and case. See provided images above, these images are of the actual items.

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