Directed by the first rate Fritz Lang, Scarlet Street is film noir at its finest. Utilizing the bleak coldness of black and white to its zenith, Lang paints a frigid psychological picture of some of the most reprehensible characters ever put on film. It hardly requires mention that in the nineteen forties, this windswept view on a harsh and barren existence was nearly unheard of. The story is of a lonely man, the role deftly assumed by the masterful Edward G. Robinson (The Ten Commandments), who is unhappy in his marriage and seeks solace in the arms of a prostitute. Unlike the coy floozies that earlier films had made call girls appear, Joan Bennett plays Kitty with a gritty and world-weary realism. Bennett seduces Robinson and convinces him to embezzle money to pay for her lavish lifestyle. Robinson, feeling happy for the first time in ages, agrees to step outside the bounds of ordinary society. Scarlet Street is chilling to the core, but with an artistic flair for the beauty in sorrow. The combination is breathtaking.