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Scarlet Street (4K UHD Review)


The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements


A middle-aged bank cashier falls for a beautiful woman who tries to con him out of the fortune she mistakenly believes he possesses.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Fritz Lang directed this masterful 1945 noir, Scarlet Street, which found itself banned in three states due to its themes of adultery and murder. Showing his command of the camera and cinematography in a genre he heavily influenced visually with films like M (1931), Lang spins a tale of older, everyman bank cashier, Cristopher Cross (Edward G. Robinson), who is in a loveless marriage and falls for young beauty Katharine ‘Kitty’ March (Joan Bennett). He rescues Kitty from an assault by a thug on a street corner while walking home from an office celebration of his anniversary at the bank, but Kitty is not what she seems, and the thug was really her con-man boyfriend Johnny (Dan Duryea). When Kitty finds out that Cristopher is an artist, she assumes he is a successful one whose paintings sell for $50 thousand, and she and Johnny at once start scheming on how to get money out of him. Christopher, in love and none the wiser, falls into her trap, and eventually into ruin, trying to please the ever more needy Kitty.

The tragic events that define the third act of this film highlights the skills of the cast in Robinson’s pathetic portrayal of a lonely and unsuccessful man, Bennett’s manipulative femme fatale, and Duryea’s street smart con man. It also shows the mastery of Lang in being able to manipulate the audience into rooting for a villain, capturing gorgeous imagery with a Gothic twinge, and spinning an entertaining crime yarn.  

Purchase Scarlet Street 4K Ultra HD on Amazon.com

  • Edward G. Robinson in Scarlet Street (1945)
  • Edward G. Robinson in Scarlet Street (1945)
  • Joan Bennett in Scarlet Street (1945)
  • Scarlet Street (1945)
  • Joan Bennett in Scarlet Street (1945)
  • Edward G. Robinson in Scarlet Street (1945)
  • Edward G. Robinson in Scarlet Street (1945)
  • Joan Bennett in Scarlet Street (1945)
  • Scarlet Street 4K UHD (KL Studio Classics)
  • Scarlet Street 4K UHD (KL Studio Classics)

The Video

Scarlet Street comes from a brand new HDR / Dolby Vision master – from a 16bit 4K scan of the 35mm nitrate composite fine grain. It is presented on disc in a 1.37:1 HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) Dolby Vision encodement. The overall picture quality is uneven due to its age and its source, with some frames looking overwhelmed by film softness and grain and some scratches to be seen throughout. In general, however, it looks great three-quarters of the time, with a fine amount of detail and the Dolby Vision yielding lots of ‘pop’ in the highlights like street signs and rain droplets. Black levels can get inky but do sometimes tip into crush on lapels and so forth.

The Audio

The original mono track is presented in a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track that has a fine presentation with intelligible dialogue and clear score.

The Supplements

The two audio commentaries are interesting listens, especially the one from Imogen Sara Smith who has an excellent command of the genre and enjoyable speaking style.

  • Audio Commentary by Film Historian Imogen Sara Smith
  • Audio Commentary by David Kalat, the Author of The Strange Case of Dr. Mabuse

The Final Assessment

Kino Lorber Studio Classics deliver another wonderful 4K disc of a classic film from an auteur. This label has been one of the best in recent years at delivering what cineastes want in the highest quality and keeping physical media alive. Highly recommended for fans of film noir and Fritz Lang.

Scarlet Street is out on 4K Ultra HD Combo January 30, 2024 from Kino Lorber Studio Classics

Purchase Scarlet Street 4K Ultra HD Combo on Amazon.com

  • Rating Certificate: Approved
  • Studios & Distributors: Fritz Lang Productions | Walter Wanger Productions | Kino Lorber
  • Director: Fritz Lang
  • Written By: Georges de La Fouchardière | André Mouëzy-Éon | Dudley Nichols
  • Run Time: 101 Mins.
  • Street Date: 30 January 2024
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: Dolby Vision (HDR10 Compatible)
  • Primary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
  • Subtitles: English SDH

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A middle-aged bank cashier falls for a beautiful woman who tries to con him out of the fortune she mistakenly believes he possesses.Scarlet Street (4K UHD Review)