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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'La Rue Rouge')

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

Product Description
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.

 

***

Synopsis
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.

***

Scarlet Street (1945) is a remake of Jean Renoir's picture La Chienne (1931). The most important immediate difference between the pictures is one of tone and attitude towards the characters. Renoir's film is a kinky black comedy about a pair of sexy low-lifes who humiliate a middle aged man. It is basically a sexual fantasy. Lang's picture is a tale of paranoia, how a pair of disgusting human beings, and fate itself, persecute an innocent man. Lang strips most of the sexiness from the crooked couple in the picture. Instead he and scenarist Dudley Nichols emphasize their sheer awfulness.

Excerpt from the Film of Fritz Lang website located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 28 December 1945 - USA

Reviews                More Reviews            DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Kino - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Paramount - Region 0 - PAL vs. Eureka Video (UK) - Region 0 - PAL vs. Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL vs. Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Ole Kofoed and Gregory Meshman for the Eureka and Alpha DVD Screen Caps!

1) Kino - Region 1- NTSC TOP LEFT

2) Paramount (FR) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP MIDDLE

3) Eureka Video (UK) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP RIGHT

4) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM LEFT

5) Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM MIDDLE

6) Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM RIGHT

 

Box Covers

Distribution

Kino
Region 1 - NTSC

Paramount (FR)

Region 0 - PAL

Eureka Video (UK)

Region 0 - PAL

Alpha
Region 0 - NTSC

Odeon Entertainment

Region 0 - PAL

Kino
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Distribution

Kino
Region 1 - NTSC

Paramount (FR)

Region 0 - PAL

Eureka Video (UK)

Region 0 - PAL

Alpha
Region 0 - NTSC

Odeon Entertainment

Region 0 - PAL

Kino
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:41:51 1:40:51 1:41:48 1:41:18 1:37:40 (4% PAL speedup) 1:42:23.178
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.54 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s
1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.5 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.19 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.28 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: ? mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,687,370,304 bytes

Feature: 23,027,259,072 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.94 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Kino

 

Bitrate:

Paramount (FR)

Bitrate:

Eureka Video (UK)

 

Bitrate:

 

Alpha

 

Bitrate:

 

Blu-ray

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 320 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 320 kbps
Subtitles None. French (non-removable) None. None. None. None.

Features

Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

 

Edition Details:
• Commentary by David Kalat

• Photo Gallery
 

DVD Release Date: November 22nd, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Eureka Video (UK)

 

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

 

Edition Details:
• Photo gallery

DVD Release Date: Feb 24th, 2005
Slim transparent Keep Case

Chapters 10

Release Information:
Studio: Eureka Video (UK)

 

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

 

Edition Details:
• Commentary.

DVD Release Date: March 18, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 10

Release Information:
Studio: Alpha

 

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

 

Edition Details:
None
 

DVD Release Date: February 19, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 5

Release Information:
Studio: Odeon

 

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

 

Edition Details:
Six trailers + booklet notes

 

DVD Release Date: September 22nd, 2008
Keep Case

Chapters 6

Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,687,370,304 bytes

Feature: 23,027,259,072 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.94 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Commentary by David Kalat

• Photo Gallery
 

Blu-ray Release Date: February 28th, 2012
Standard
Blu-ray Case

Chapters 10

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Kino - Region FREE Blu-ray - February 12': To cut to the chase - the Kino Blu-ray is progressive and in theatrical running time - which alone puts it ahead of all the DVD editions. The single-layered image may be a small notch below my expectations. The print Kino used still has plenty of scratches and light damage (see last capture). Is it the same Library of Congress sourced elements that were used on the impressive Odeon 2008 SD? It does state as much before the film runs - but is it the same D1 made before the 2008 re-restoration? This I don't know. The Kino transfer, like the UK one, shows rounded corners (most cinema projectionists would matte these away) - and, generally, it does show more information in the frame. Contrast has some nice layers. It looks quite solid for the most part although I would have appreciated more grain.

We are given a reasonably flawless linear PCM 2.0 track at 2304 kbps. With my ears perked it is a notch above the SD audio transfer. I suspect it may be as good as it will ever get. The original score by Hans J. Salter (credited as H.J. Salter) sounds a shade more atmospheric with some audible depth. Dialogue has one ort two scattered moments but nothing troublesome. There are no subtitles offered on the region FREE Blu-ray disc.

Blu-ray extras include the same excellent David Kalat (author of The Strange Case of Dr. Mabuse: A Study of the Twelve Films and Five Novels) commentary, gallery and also some trailers.

Another incredible Lang masterpiece and despite my reservations on the image quality - this is easily the best I have seen Scarlet Street. For those who haven't heard the Kalat commentary - it is a treat for the director's fans. It's amazing to see the evolution of this film from PD domain SD (Alpha Video) to this HD version. We've come a long way and we can recommend this - as a must own.

***

ADDITION: Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL: Big thanks to Luke Scoffield you sent us the dual-layered Odeon DVD screen captures and told us: "I've just taken a gamble on a recent release of Scarlet Street here in the UK - it's from Odeon Entertainment, who seem to only release little-known British films, with this as a major exception. I took a chance because the cover makes the claim of a "new digitally remastered version" - as far as I can tell it was released in September 2008, but I've only just come across it, having assumed all current versions here would be dreck.

However, and fortunately (!), the transfer is very good. This is, for a start, as I only found out by the logo following the film (the information isn't anywhere else on the set), because it's the Library of Congress print, which therefore must be the same as the Kino. Having watched it closely, it's very good, quite sharp with excellent tones most of the time, but with frequent little speckles and scratches of print damage, the odd (faint) vertical line and a few cue blips - but this doesn't detract from the viewing very much. In fact, having seen the film in a far worse state on television, I was marveling at the clarity of each puff of smoke and drop of rain. I would suggest this is a better transfer of the same print than the Kino, from the information in DVDBeaver's comparison: the film's on DVD-9, presumably therefore progressive, as it shows none of the combing you find in the Kino. In the following emails are screen caps I've taken, trying to match the existing comparison, adding a couple for the menus and those which I think show off the strength of the image.

The DVD is PAL, encoded for all regions. It sounds good - the volume level is high with only a couple of crackles, not really much distortion, say in the higher or lower registers, although I suppose the score does sound aged; there's a bit of sibilance and fuzziness to those crucial whispers at the end of the film, but I can't say that's not how they were intended; it certainly enhances their creepy intimacy. It's all very good, but where Odeon let themselves down is in not knowing what to do with the film having got it - only six chapter points and the only relevant extra (they have a booklet about and trailers for their other releases) is a pamphlet with about half a side of brief biography for each of Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea and Fritz Lang - which feels like a token gesture at best. For me, a good copy for enjoying the film (which I consider a collection essential), but it misses out on making more of the opportunity.

Hope all this helps!
"

It does help Luke! Thank very much - this indeed looks like it has, by far, the best image of this important Noir film - and the price sure is right!

ADDITION- Kino - Region 1 - NTSC - November 05' : Kino transferred a fine grain print from the National Film and Television Archive but it seems they couldn't afford to make it progressive as there is prevalent combing in the images. Again, like House By the River, it is only on a single-layered DVD. I still feel this price is exorbitant but as the images will bear out it is the best release to date of this film that is in the purgatory of the Public Domain. The Kalat commentary is a nice addition and it reveals much about this Noir gem. It is easily cleaner, sharper and brighter than the other 3 compared releases and definitely the one to own. Great film!

*****

ADDITION - Paramount (France) - Region 0 - PAL - June 2005 - Things aren't getting any better for this film on DVD. The Paramount (France) version is horrible- just as poor as the others - in fact worse as it has burned in French subtitles. They've got a nerve charging anything for this - it is pure slop. The prints must be in atrocious condition and the same damage marks on the Paramount are found on the Eureka. We don't recommend any editions, but the Alpha is very inexpensive. If you can't wait - pick that up.

NOTE: Daryl Chin says:
The problem with SCARLET STREET is one of domain, i.e., who exactly owns the copyright is in question. A lot of that has to do with the rights retained by the original (French) publisher of the novel LA CHIENNE.

BUT I do know that a very good (if not perfect) restoration exists. When The Museum of Modern Art did its Edward G. Robinson retrospective about five years ago, they played an excellent print of SCARLET STREET that had been restored by the UCLA Film Archives and the Library of Congress. I should say that, though good, it was not quite as pristine as the print of THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW. But it was amazing to see the image not blurred and filled with dirt, but pretty much clean and sharp.

But the question is how can a company get the rights to that print?

(I noticed that you mentioned that, in England, Eureka had put out a PD DVD of SCARLET STREET; perhaps they could find a way to access the UCLA print.)

****

NOTE: From Eureka - "We withdrew Scarlet Street about a year ago due to the quality not being up to the Eureka standard."

ON THE Eureka vs. Alpha: Fritz Lang has not been treated too well on DVD until recently and this is another example of some sloppy DVD production work. Eureka has quite improved themselves but this older title in their catalogue should either be updated or wiped off the face of the earth. It is a blight on their track record. Alpha, at least, is known as a Public Domain dumping ground. Good film, but I wouldn't suggest buying either. There is nothing positive to say about either release.

Gary Tooze

 

Menus

(Kino Region 1- NTSC LEFT vs. Paramount (FR) - Region 0 - PAL RIGHT)

 

 
 


(
Eureka Video (UK) - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT vs. Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)
 

 

Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL Menus

 

 

Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

Screen Captures

 

Combing evident in 1) Kino - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Odeon's MIDDLE is progressive and so is

3) Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Kino - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount (FR) - Region 0 - PAL - SECOND

3) Eureka Video (UK) - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Kino - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount (FR) - Region 0 - PAL - SECOND

3) Eureka Video (UK) - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

 

1) Kino - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount (FR) - Region 0 - PAL - SECOND

3) Eureka Video (UK) - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Kino - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount (FR) - Region 0 - PAL - SECOND

3) Eureka Video (UK) - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Kino - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) Paramount (FR) - Region 0 - PAL - SECOND

3) Eureka Video (UK) - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Kino - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount (FR) - Region 0 - PAL - SECOND

3) Eureka Video (UK) - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

MORE Blu-ray CAPTURES:

 

 

Light Damage/ Scratches

 

 

Recommended Reading in Film Noir (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)


Hit Counter


Report Card:

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Kino / Blu-ray

 

 

Box Covers

Distribution

Kino
Region 1 - NTSC

Paramount (FR)

Region 0 - PAL

Eureka Video (UK)

Region 0 - PAL

Alpha
Region 0 - NTSC

Odeon Entertainment

Region 0 - PAL

Kino
Region FREE -
Blu-ray




 

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Gary Tooze

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