Scarlet Street (1945) is one of my favorite films of all time, and possibly my absolute favorite noir as well.
This pitch-perfect classic stars Edward G. Robinson and Joan Bennett. Robinson is Christopher Cross, a cashier who easily falls under the spell of Bennett’s character, Kitty. Much to Christopher’s enjoyment, Kitty agrees to get together with him.
What he doesn’t know is that she’s not only using him for money, but is also in a relationship with a criminal named Johnny – her true love interest. Christopher will go to any length to impress Kitty, with some pretty unsavory results. As expected, things begin to unravel as his schemes to impress her and her schemes to take advantage of him spin out of control.
I don’t have much to say about this film except that it’s phenomenal. It was one of the first noir films that I saw, and remains my most frequently watched.
I recommend going ahead and buying it on DVD or Blu-ray – even if you’ve never seen it – but if you don’t want to take my word for it, Scarlet Street is available for instant viewing and DVD mailing on Netflix.