Scarlet Street, Fritz Lang (1945)

Jeepers, Johnny. Probably, perversely, my favorite Lang movie of them all. Edward G. Robinson perfects his macho/emasculated persona, and Joan Bennett and Dan Duryea click arhythmically as Vronsky atop Frou-Frou as they ride poor Chris Cross down to his doom. Add in the jacked-up pathos of the artist struggling to maintain two faces–one facing the real, the other the truer truth of the imaginary–and this sucker’s sold. I would like to have seen this movie with Wallace Stevens. I would have held his hand.

Paging my digital petit voleur: Any chance you could locate Renoir’s La chienne (1931)? I haven’t seen it in more than a decade. It’s not as hard-boiled as this, but it contains the full germ of evil which herein blossoms.

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