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http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/lang.htm
USA 1945

 

A box-office hit in its day (despite being banned in three states), Scarlet Street is perhaps legendary director Fritz Lang's (Metropolis) finest American film. Kino's immaculate 1080P transfer, from a 35mm Library of Congress vault negative, restores Lang's extravagantly fatalistic vision to its original B&W glory. When middle-aged milquetoast Chris Cross (Edward G. Robinson -- Double Indemnity, Little Caesar) rescues street-walking bad girl Kitty (Joan Bennett -- The Reckless Moment) from the rain slicked gutters of an eerily artificial backlot Greenwich Village, he plunges headlong into a whirlpool of lust, larceny and revenge. As Chris' obsession with the irresistibly vulgar Kitty grows, the meek cashier is seduced, corrupted, humiliated and transformed into an avenging monster before implacable fate and perverse justice triumph in the most satisfyingly downbeat denouement in the history of American film. Both Scarlet Street producer Walter Wanger's wife and director Lang's mistress, Joan Bennett created a femme fatale icon as the unapologetically erotic and ruthless Kitty. Robinson breathes subtle, fragile humanity into Chris Cross while film noir super-heavy Dan Duryea, as Kitty's pimp boyfriend Johnny, skillfully molds ''a vicious and serpentine creature out of a cheap, chiseling tin horn.'' (The New York Times). Packed with hairpin plot twists from screenwriter Dudley Nichols (Stagecoach) and ''bristling with fine directorial touches and expert acting'' (Time), Scarlet Street is a dark gem of film noir and golden age Hollywood filmmaking at its finest.

***

In this remake of Jean Renoir's controversial 1931 film, La Chienne, Christopher Cross (Edward G. Robinson), a quiet, staid cashier and dedicated Sunday painter, feels consumed by passion for the first time in his life when he meets pretty, manipulative Kitty. The two become involved, but Kitty is really in love with petty crook Johnny. She keeps Christopher around simply for his money. In order to impress his precious mistress, Cross embezzles funds from his employer. He doesn't realize, however, that Kitty and Johnny are also getting rich on his paintings, which are becoming a huge success under Kitty's name. When Christopher's theft comes to light, he loses his job and his dignity. And when he seeks out Kitty for solace, he discovers her in Johnny's embrace. The film explodes in its violent climax, and with it Lang creates perhaps his most chilling Film Noir work. The tightly structured story and the evocative paintings that lie symbolically at the center of the plot create a visual and psychological atmosphere of suspense, filled with double meanings and games of representation and appearance, all pointing toward a brutal final act, motivated by Cross' inner demons and repressed emotions.  

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 28th, 1945 - USA

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Review: Kino - Region FREE - 4K UHD

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region FREE - 4K UHD
Runtime 1:41:46.475        
Video

1.33:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 77,790,227,603 bytes

Feature: 76,365,597,696 bytes

Video Bitrate: 75.17 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate 4K Ultra HD:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1558 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1558 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.33:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 77,790,227,603 bytes

Feature: 76,365,597,696 bytes

Video Bitrate: 75.17 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

 

Edition Details:

4K Ultra HD disc

NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian Imogen Sara Smith
Audio Commentary by David Kalat, the Author of The Strange Case of Dr. Mabuse
Triple-Layered UHD100 Disc
 

Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian Imogen Sara Smith
Audio Commentary by David Kalat, the Author of The Strange Case of Dr. Mabuse
Dual-Layered BD50 Disc


4K Ultra HD Release Date: January 30th, 2024

Black 4K Ultra HD Case in slipcase

Chapters 8

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray and 4K UHD captures were taken directly from the respective discs.

ADDITION: Kino 4K UHD (February 2024): Kino have released Fritz Lang's "Scarlet Street" to 4K UHD. It is cited as being a "Brand New HDR / Dolby Vision Master From a 16bit 4K Scan of the 35mm Nitrate Composite Fine Grain". We compared Kino's 2012 Blu-ray to five DVDs (the film is in the Public Domain) HERE. This 4K UHD package includes a new, second disc, Blu-ray also transferred "from a 16bit 4K Scan of the 35mm Nitrate Composite Fine Grain". I was suspicious how this would look as the previous digital editions have not been stellar. This 2160P looks wonderful - the contrast and grain support are at exemplary levels. There are still some surface scratches and a few minor speckles - but over this is a HUGE, and highly appreciated, upgrade.

It is likely that the monitor you are seeing this review is not an HDR-compatible display (High Dynamic Range) or Dolby Vision, where each pixel can be assigned with a wider and notably granular range of color and light. Our capture software if simulating the HDR (in a uniform manner) for standard monitors. This should make it easier for us to review more 4K UHD titles in the future and give you a decent idea of its attributes on your system. So our captures may not support the exact same colors (coolness of skin tones, brighter or darker hues etc.) as the 4K system at your home. But the framing, detail, grain texture support etc. are, generally, not effected by this simulation representation.

NOTE: 74 more more full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K UHD captures, in lossless PNG format, for Patrons are available HERE

We have reviewed the following 4K UHD packages recently: eXistenZ (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Horrible Dr. Hichcock (software uniformly simulated HDR), Conan the Barbarian (software uniformly simulated HDR) Django (no HDR), Lone Star  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Suspect Zero (software uniformly simulated HDR), Count Dracula (software uniformly simulated HDR), Full Circle - The Haunting of Julia (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Warriors  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (software uniformly simulated HDR), Blackhat (software uniformly simulated HDR), Mark of the Devil (software uniformly simulated HDR), Barbarella (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Last Picture Show (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Man Who Knew Too Much (software uniformly simulated HDR), Rope (software uniformly simulated HDR), Frenzy (software uniformly simulated HDR), American Graffiti (software uniformly simulated HDR), East End Hustle (software uniformly simulated HDR), Three Days of the Condor (software uniformly simulated HDR), Witness (software uniformly simulated HDR), Fascination (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lips of Blood (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Others (no HDR), It Came From Outer Space (software uniformly simulated HDR).

On their 4K UHD, Kino use a DTS-HD Master dual-mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. No demonstrative effects are utilized in "Scarlet Street" shot almost exclusively on a set. The score is by Hans J. Salter (The Female Animal, Naked Alibi, Pittsburgh, Man Without a Star, The Killer that Stalked New York, The Strange Door, Cover Up, Man Without a Star, Step Down to Terror, The Land Unknown, The War Lord, The Mole People, The Strange Case of Doctor Rx.) sounds authentically flat with a notable higher end supported. Both discs offers optional English (SDH) subtitles - and the 4K UHD is region FREE, playable worldwide. The Blu-ray is Region 'A'-locked.

The 4K UHD and Blu-ray have two commentaries. The one on the 2012 Kino Blu-ray (and other releases) by David Kalat (author of The Strange Case of Dr. Mabuse: A Study of the Twelve Films and Five Novels.) He does a great job of discussing this Noir gem. We also get a new commentary by Film Historian Imogen Sara Smith who describes Scarlet Street as "indispensable". She discusses The Woman in the Window made the previous year with the same director (Fritz Lang), cinematographer (Milton R. Krasner) and the same three stars - Robinson, Bennett and Duryea. Imogen cites Patrick McGilligan's book Fritz Lang: The Nature of the Beast. and the differences between Scarlet Street and Jean Renoir's 1931 La Chienne with no admirable characters - plus how she finds that men in Noir are always willing to be deluded by the fairer sex. She observes how the female leads portray a shrewish, nagging, wife or a gold-digging temptress. She discusses Lang's use of diegetic music in the film (repeated 'Melancholy Baby' as Kitty's theme), Dudley Nichols' screenplay, Kitty's telltale laziness, Bennett's affair with her agent Jennings Lang and so much more. It's a good a commentary as you can imagine coming from Imogen. There are no other extras on the 4K UHD and the second disc Blu-ray also has a few trailers not present on the 4K UHD disc. The package has an O-card slipcase and reversible artwork (see below.)      

Kino's 4K UHD release of Fritz Lang's "Scarlet Street" is Noir catnip. One of the purest examples of the 'dark cinema' cycle with a repeated cast and themes from The Woman in the Window, and required tap-dancing around the censors. 12 paintings were created for Scarlet Street by John Decker - a painter, set designer and caricaturist in Hollywood during the 1930s and 1940s. Joan Bennett is delightfully evil as the femme fatale 'Kitty'. We get the excellent older commentary and new, revealing, one by Imogen plus the image is the best the film has ever looked in your home theater. Our highest recommendation!

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 

Kino - Region 'A' Blu-ray

 

Kino - Region FREE - 4K UHD


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Distribution Kino - Region FREE - 4K UHD


 


 

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