Scarlet Street : What Lang should have done was

What Lang should have done was

What Lang ought to have done was made it so that we don't actually see Robinson kill Bennett. I watched this for the first time three days ago in film class and when they showed Robinson just whacking at her with the ice pick half the class began to snicker. It's a powerful scene, don't get me wrong, but maybe it would have been better if we actually don't see Bennett getting hit. Maybe either a cutaway, or low angle of Robinson hitting downwards, and then project the shock of the scene on his facial expression. . Don't get me wrong, I loved the scene, and I was glad that Bennett got what she (at least partly) deserved . But I couldn't help but think of how it could have been done differently.

Re: What Lang should have done was

I hear ya, BobStage, and thanks for sharing your idea. I, for one, love the scene exactly the way it was done, considering it does not leave things "too" messy and all. I mean, to tell the truth, it was a nice break to see that instead of the too often shown bloody gore of a slasher film way we have it all poured out today.

Not only that, but this movie doesn't even go as far as PSYCHO's shower show. For me, it's just the right amount of passion in Chris's swing to do the thing and get the sting...just right

Re: What Lang should have done was

I watched most of the movie, then got online for about twenty minutes, and came back
at the exact moment Kitty tells Cross to get away from her. I'm all, "Hey, what's going on?"
Then he walks over and stabs the *@!# out of her. I was like, "WHAT THA HELL!?!"
I obviously watched enough of the movie to not be lost, but what happened to cause that?
What specific trigger did I miss? I mean...damn!

Re: What Lang should have done was

I guess I think the directness works; indeed, I think it's necessary. I don't want to get too crude about interpretation here (I don't mean to suggest the movie's all about sex, blah, blah, blah). But the killing is largely about sex (and Chris's inexperience with sex as a measure of his failings as a man) here, I think. There Kitty is, laid out on the bed in her nightgown, laughing at his suggestion that they'll marry one day, telling him that he's not a man like Johnny is. And he finally decides he's just not gonna take no for an answer anymore; he will have her. So he picks up the ice pick--the nearest phallic symbol--and plunges it into her. He's going to possess her in the only way left to him, and I think we need to see it happen to really get the point across.

Plus, I think not showing the killing might make it a little too easy to identify and sympathize with Chris through the rest of the movie. Lang doesn't let us off easy: we have to watch that killing and decide how to feel about him the rest of the way. And it's to the movie's credit that the killing isn't stylish or exciting: it just seems kinda pathetic and stupid. There's no fancy cutting, no showy camera angle--just a medium shot of him sticking her a couple times while she cowers in fear. It's clearly a shabby thing, and I'm not sure that would be as obvious if we didn't actually see the killing right before our eyes.

And I wouldn't take much away from the fact that some people laughed at the violence. In watching movies with others, I've found that people often laugh at violence when it isn't treated as something that's fun or exciting. I don't think it's a failing of the movie that people laugh at it; it's a failing of the audience.

Re: What Lang should have done was

Hey, wvq2, I absolutely love your input, which is so continually well put. Thank you sooooooo much for joining in "with everyone," adding your thoughts on this fabulous story, for one.

Take care, and keep on giving it in like ya do.

Re: What Lang should have done was

No, Lang should have ended it with Chris Cross hanging from the ceiling. He didn’t even have to show anything above the legs; just the legs dangling would have sufficed. It would have been even more powerful than the scene you wish to change. I really didn’t like the fantastic stuff with the voices. That’s the only thing I would have liked to have seen done differently.

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