Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Femme Fatale

Being the film nerd that I am, I simply had to rent the ultimate film noir classic, Scarlet Street.



The 1945 film revolves around Christopher Cross, a middle-aged man who is overwhelmed by his domineering wife who hates him and his thankless job at the bank.

By accident, he runs into femme fatale, Kitty Marsh.



Chris falls madly in love with Kitty, who may or may not be a prostitute (the film skirts around that issue). After some miscommunication, Kitty begins to think Chris is a famous painter.

After telling her controlling fiance, he devises a plan for Kitty to become Chris's mistress, so they can rob the poor man of a fortune he doesn't even have.



I could not have been more pleased with my selection. Although the film desperately needs to be restored, I found myself liking the antique grittiness of each frame. It contributed to the film's dark plot and overall mystique.



Everything about this film is old-school glamorous. The acting is intense. Kitty's costumes are breathtakingly gorgeous. The plot is action-packed. There is never a dull minute to spare.

But most of all, I found myself becoming incredibly fascinated with the sexy Hollywood siren, Joan Bennett, who plays Kitty.



She is the ultimate film noir bombshell.



The more I researched Joan Bennett, the more interesting she became. I was surprised to learn that Joan's life would make a pretty kick ass movie itself.

Both sides of her family had been in theater since the 18th century. Growing up, Jean was insistent not to follow in her family's footsteps. But after a bitter divorce with a cruel alcoholic, the 18-year-old found herself with a baby to support. She turned to acting as a last resort.

The decision made her a star.



Jean started out in silent films and made the quick transition to sound. Audiences adored the smoldering brunette temptress and critics admired her talent.



It wasn't until she became the muse for famed film noir director, Fritz Lang, that her iconic status blossomed. He not only directed her in Scarlet Street, but also in four other films.



Her career, however, was quickly marred by scandal in 1951.

She was sitting in her convertible with her agent, when her third husband came up and shot her agent. He thought the two were having an affair. Fortunately, her agent didn't die. Her husband served six months in a mental institution after pleading "temporary insanity." Surprisingly, Joan did not divorce her husband. They remained together for 15 more years.

The incident ruined her career forever. She was blacklisted from Hollywood.



The incident also sadly destroyed Joan's image as a Hollywood icon. Not many people know her name today.

Take my advice and rent Scarlet Street. It will show you a glimpse of a film legend who deserves to be more than just a memory.

32 comments:

Mimi said...

i have a friend who really loves movies like this. i am going to recommend this to her, she is going to love it! :D

<3, Mimi
http://whatmimiwrites.blogspot.com/

Josie said...

I love film noir but haven't seen this one... I'll have to check it out!
xo Josie
http://winksmilestyle.blogspot.com

Vanilla said...

I ask myself.... why have I never seen this film! ha ha :) sounds like a great one :)

Love, Vanilla

lifeontherocks said...

she looks stunningly beautiful!!!!

Sarah said...

Wow! Will have to find this film!
x

David L Macaulay said...

great post J - have never heard of this film, as I am sadly missing a classic movie education - maybe it's on Netflix.

cherie said...

she looks so glamorous and beautiful. now i'm very interested in watching this film, it sounds great!

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Stunning and what a surreal life story!


xoxo,
Chic 'n Cheap Living

love jenny xoxo said...

now I'm going to have to watch this!

XOXO

Bonnie said...

When I hear "Femme Fatale," now I can only think of Britney Spears.
...
That says nothing good about me.

http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

yiqin; said...

SHES STUNNING <3

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

That chick's a babe!

I don't think I'd bust a cap over her, though.

Tights Lover said...

I really like the looks of this movie. I'd love to check it out!

Joan Bennett is gorgeous! It's a shame what happened to her. If that happened today, it would probably make her even more in demand! hahaha.

Couture Carrie said...

Wow, what a story!
Must see this film!

xoxox,
CC

Damsels said...

what a shame her husband ruined her career.
I would rent it just to look at these beautiful costumes

Meri said...

I love gorgeous old film. It's pretty neat that she was sort of a femme fatale both in real life and on screen- although "kitty marsh" is a much better femme fatale name than, "joan bennet" which sounds sort of like a secretary on Mad Men.
Ever seen the Big Sleep? I love that movie.

Movies on my Mind said...

Goodness me, I've never even heard of this film let alone seen it. You put me to shame.

Fashion.MakeUp.LifeStyle said...

OH NO...never seen this film and must see now!! Lord girly you put me to shame!! LOL.

http://fashionmakeuplifestyle.blogspot.com/

Fashion.MakeUp.LifeStyle said...

OH NO...never seen this film and must see now!! Lord girly you put me to shame!! LOL.

http://fashionmakeuplifestyle.blogspot.com/

Fashion.MakeUp.LifeStyle said...

OH NO...never seen this film and must see now!! Lord girly you put me to shame!! LOL.

http://fashionmakeuplifestyle.blogspot.com/

Kavery said...

I so want to see it now. They don't make them like they used to.

Twenty.Something said...

I've actually seen this move and love it... I remember loving the fashion when I was little. She is absolutely gorgeous! Think I'll have to rent this again...

Katie said...

Fascinating! I'm going to rent it. Thanks once again for having great taste in old movies and sharing it with us :)

*chameleon* said...

what a beautiful lady!!!!those were real movies back then!!:) great post hun!!
xoxoxo

thechyrelgomez said...

where do you find all this classic hollywood film? thanks for the recommendation!

yiqin; said...

Girls last time had nicer hair :P

Stephanie said...

The world has changed, hasn't it? Nowadays, I'm pretty sure that a crazy jealous husband shooting your agent would make you MORE popular. I don't really know much about old tv shows and movies. It's one of the reasons I find your blog so interesting...you always introduce me to things that are completely new to me.

Cafe Fashionista said...

Oh, I desperately need to see this film! I so adore film noir - it is incredible! :)

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Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

Really interesting... I used to watch loads of classic movies but haven't in a while. I'm going to give that one a try. I'd heard of Joan Bennett, but I don't think I'd every seen her in anything. I bet she was pretty damn cool. : )

Venus In Virgo said...

I'm a film noir nut too! I love Kitty Marsh (the character) I need to see this one again. XOXO

Movies on my Mind said...

It's been such a long time since I last saw this movie... back in the 90s in fact.