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Fritz Lang United States, 1945

Duncan Gray's rating of the film Scarlet Street

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.