Scarlet Street : Why is it entitled ' Scarlet Street'?

Why is it entitled ' Scarlet Street'?

Just saw it on DVD. Deeply impressed by the realistic and sympathetic story of how one's unfulfilled passion in a materialistic society can lead to tragedy. But I didn't get what the title suggested. Does anyone know why it is entitled " Scarlet Street"?

Re: Why is it entitled ' Scarlet Street'?

Isn't it where the Joan Bennet character lives?

Lady, I don't have the time

Re: Why is it entitled ' Scarlet Street'?

No, when Chris writes Kitty, her address is 245 Grove Street, New York, New York.

Hmmm..

Re: Why is it entitled ' Scarlet Street'?

Think also of connotations.

Scarlett, synonymous with adultery, think Scarlet Letter, Red Light districts

Street, the civilized, yet not civilized. Urban, yet dangerous.

A 1945 audience would KNOW it probably would be a tale of adultery.

What a shame that nowadays we have to see "I think I love my wife" to get the same idea.

Re: Why is it entitled ' Scarlet Street'?




Scarlett, synonymous with adultery, think Scarlet Letter, Red Light districts


And blood -- street of blood.

Re: Why is it entitled ' Scarlet Street'?


"What a shame that nowadays we have to see "I think I love my wife" to get the same idea."

I literally started laughing when I read that line. Great observation!

Re: Why is it entitled ' Scarlet Street'?

"One's passion in a materialistic society." I always find it interesting how films act as Rorschach tests for people and they see what they're already predisposed to see. It's actually sad, 'cause you miss out on the great performance when it's clouded by your own view -- like you have this giant pile of baggage between you and the screen while you're watching the great performances.

What does this film have to do with a "materialistic society," exactly? And what society isn't "materialistic"? We are spirits in the material world, as Sting said. I understand what that cliche is supposed to mean, but it is just that: a cliche. The society had nothing to do with his story besides background. It's not like the character tried to succeed and failed or was rebuffed again and again. He had a good job with a boss who cared at a BANK of all materialistic places.

The failing was his humanity, not society.

Re: Why is it entitled ' Scarlet Street'?

Materialistic=Capitalist=American... It's very narrow-minded to assume capitalism as the normative model for all societies, especially when Noirs were infamous for being written/directed by foreigners (like Lang who was Austrian).
So, as versed as ...Sting... maybe in cinema culture, I'm going to agree with the previous postings... The fact that the character works at a bank only increases the irony, as he has painted his entire life and is good at it, but doesn't get his due credit because the personification of Capitalist greed (Kitty+Johnny) milk him for all he's worth and claim credit for his artistic works.

Chris is an innocent harmless weakling until (SPOILER) at the end he's driven into a rage by Kitty's cold rejection and declaration that she only ever wanted his money.

It's practically a manifesto against capitalism.

Re: Why is it entitled ' Scarlet Street'?

It's even more narrow-minded to assume capitalism is solely practiced in America. Besides, I'm not sure what aspect of this movie is uniquely capitalistic or American. After all, the original version of this tale was made in France.

Indeed, I could see the entire plot playing out exactly the same way in any nation. If you don't think greed, exploitation, unrequited love and unrealized artistic ambition exist in every society, then you truly are blinded by ideology.

Re: Why is it entitled ' Scarlet Street'?

"...as he has painted his entire life and is good at it, but doesn't get his due credit because the personification of Capitalist greed (Kitty+Johnny) milk him for all he's worth and claim credit for his artistic works."

That is a totally off the wall interpretation. Man, I've now seen/read everything !

Re: Why is it entitled ' Scarlet Street'?

I totally agree. And, like you, I am appalled that someone saw such a message in this film.

First of all, economic systems are not greedy. People are. But I think this person is equating capitalism with greed (and criminality). To back it up by saying that Kitty and Johnny claimed credit for his work is to really miss the point.

In laissez-faire capitalism, every person owns the result of his work. Other systems, such as socialism, say the worker only owns his work to the degree it is permitted--usually not at all. Kitty and Johnny do not really work, other than to scheme about how they can scam people. They are moochers. They cannot represent capitalism. They take (from the artist) that which he created and worked to produce. They are criminals. When governments that do that it is the opposite of a capitalistic system.

Re: Why is it entitled ' Scarlet Street'?

When the film was made it had to follow strict code rules, one of which was broken (the ending allowed a guilty party not to be punished--this was later waived when his fate was deemed a punishment after all). Another code was not to mention explicitly anything to do with prostitution. It is my opinion that the title not so indirectly refers to Bennet playing a prostitute who picked up men on this street. Her pimp was clearly Duryea.Some have commented that the title refers to adultery, which I merely qualify explicitly to prostitution.Another comment correctly infers this when it quotes "Lady I don't have the time", the usual pick-up line of a prostitute. Robinson establishes a relationship easily because he recognises that she is a prostitute and readily agrees to finance a trysting place, and quickly falls in love with her.

Re: Why is it entitled ' Scarlet Street'?

It might be of note, even though it does not answer your question, to say that this film was based on a French film called 'La Chienne,' which means 'The Bitch.'

Re: Why is it entitled ' Scarlet Street'?

..Street, the civilized, yet not civilized. Urban, yet dangerous. That is more correctly, "Urban, and dangerous."

"Scarlet" is actually a shade of color employed by a professional/amateur painter than its "more commonly known name" (red) used by the general public.



Stupid!?! I never called you stupid! To call you stupid would be an insult to stupid people!
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