Home Video Hovel- Scarlet Street

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2 Responses

  1. Marc says:

    I agree that this is one of the great American films of the 1940s.

    If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the original LA CHIENNE by Jean Renoir, made in France in 1931. Also, see Tom Gunning’s great chapter on the film from his equally great book on Lang.

  2. Eric M. says:

    While we’re on the topic of cynical film noir, why don’t we talk about Detour? There’s one of cinema’s bleakest final scenes somehow only made worse after studio-censors intervened!

    And to speak to what you said about grain enhancing the movie itself: the only widely circulated print of Detour often looks like someone picked it up off the side of the street. It’s got a way of making you feel like you’re watching (gulp!) a snuff film… but, you know, without all those real life ramifications.

    There’s an interesting story I found on the internet about a battered print owned by a man named Wade Williams (who apparently remade the film in ‘92?!) and efforts to clean up the movie. Wade’s copy, along with a print held at the UCLA archives, would allow for some sort of restoration but he supposedly refuses to cooperate. There are a couple of reports about the man’s stubborn attitude, contentious copyright claims, and they all end with the same trashy releases you would expect from a movie lost in the public domain. While the skips and scratches are, in my mind, a part of the film’s character, the ongoing story of Detour is another example of the physical effort and material requirements needed to restore, transfer, and preserve decades of film history.

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