When the timid, middle-aged Chris Cross rescues a street-walking bad girl named Kitty from the gutters of Greenwich Village, he plunges headlong into a whirlpool of lust, larceny, deception, and revenge.
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Since I knew this movie is a remake of Jean Renoir's La Chienne, I expected to hate it. But I have to admit it works better as a film noir. If only they had kept the original ending, it would've been a true masterpiece. But I guess with the melodramatic nature of 1940s noir and the Hays code tyranny, keeping the cynical, morally ambiguous ending was just unthinkable.
4.6 16mm. "Welp, there goes the masterpiece." Banned in cities across the US, one reason being "the failure of the characters to receive orthodox punishment from the police," yet the one of three pathetic characters who lives will carry on a life of perpetual mortification and madness. No heroes. And did any other major film before Psycho imply such a toilet scene, which here, happens to be the disposal of a flower?
If someone were to bump off The Big Heat, this would be Fritz Lang's greatest American work, starting as a kind of dark screwball comedy and ending as an even darker noir of murder and derangement. Along the way, it gives an eloquent treatise on art: on the relation between art and reality, and on how art originates and gets exploited. Some of Lang's best scenes, most perverse characters, and brilliant sound design.
Good story, great directing, cinematography, and acting, intelligent dialogues, mesmerising use of lights and shadows, amazingly smart and pictorial editing combined together result in a 5/5, clean cut, smart movie.
"He did not wear his scarlet coat, / For blood and wine are red, / And blood and wine were on his hands / When they found him with the dead, / The poor dead woman whom he loved, / And murdered in her bed."
Masterfully directed, this is film noir at its very, very best. Brilliant plotting with great mise-en-scene, the emotionally layered performance by Edward G. Robinson is one of the best I’ve seen for a while. Together, Kitty and Johnny are perhaps the most amoral ‘villians’ noir has seen and the last ten minutes are incredibly chilling and rival any horror film for creating atmosphere and tension.