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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Memorable performances and characterization all round from Edward G. Robinson and company. Masterfully directed by Fritz Lang, this a-typical noir is a remake of Renoir's La Chienne and the film so skillfully shows the darker side of human nature and how much a man can be pushed when deceived. The script is excellent and the photography beautiful. Plus the ending is certainly uncompromising for its time. A must watch
"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.
Life is doomed for someone who puts passion above reason. Edward G. Robinson once more plays with perfection the sap in love with Joan Bennet. Fate and circumstances are so cruel to him that, even when he does things wrong, one can only feel a deep compassion towards him.
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.
Solid noir from Lang that reteams the director with the stars of 'The Woman in the Window' with a diminished result. Joan Bennett's femme fatale here manipulates Robinson into betraying his wife, his employer and worse his artistic spirit while being conned herself by a lousy lover boy. The script is a little weak but surpassed by performance given. ' ....they're gonna be masterpieces...'
the insidious effects of capitalism on lower class citizens coupled with the debasing gender politics of masculinity. one of the most powerful portraits of fatalism put to screen. lang turns the standard noir narrative on its head, running backwards, speaking a language it never practiced, with edward g. robinson's visage being the very canvas exploited to maximum effect.
A pretty creepy and sordid tale from Lang, but without the virtuosity of his great films, and without the tight genre script of his best Hollywood work. There's a trio of fine performances - especially Edward G. Robinson - and his use of off-screen sound is remarkable as always.