An In Depth Analysis Of A Key Scene In Fritz Lange's Classic Film "Scarlett Street".

1409 words - 6 pages

A Walk Down Scarlett Street.Fritz Lange's Scarlett Street is a film about a man betrayed by old age, the past, and the woman who represents his lost youth. When the viewer first meets the protagonist he appears to be much like any other man in the middle of his life. Christopher Cross has been working for the same bank for several years and has become complacent living an average life, making a very average wage. It is at party honoring his faithful service, that the viewer first gets a glimpse into Christopher Cross's desire for youth, as we witness Christopher ogling his boss's young mistress. At this point in the film it becomes apparent that Christopher Cross wishes that he too could reclaim his youth, by finding a young woman who could help him make up for the years he has lost in an unsatisfactory relationship with his current wife. Later that night, almost like in a fairy tale, Christopher Cross saves a young damsel in distress, and suddenly his dream of youth restored becomes a reality as he sparks up a relationship with a woman many years his junior. Christopher Cross continues to live out his fantasy, until the pivotal point in the film when he realizes that his entire relationship with Lazy Legs, his young mistress was nothing but a charade, and faces his destiny as a lonely old man who will forever regret the choices he made. In this crucial scene, the film's director Fritz Lange uses symbolism, most notably distorted diagetic phonograph music to represent Christopher Cross's shattered dream, and contrasting tones which symbolize the incompatibility between Lazy Legs youth, and Christopher Cross's middle age.As this scene begins, a white men's hat sits on an end table, which represents Lazy Legs heart. A bright light encompasses the end table as Christopher Cross opens Lazy Legs front door and notices the hat sitting there. Christopher is dressed in black as he makes this realization, and the contrast between his attire and the bright white hat, is quite striking. When Christopher notices the hat, he realizes that there is another man in Lazy Legs life, and judging by his choice he is quite unlike Christopher. If the hat was a black fedora like Christopher wears, he would probably not feel nearly as threatened, because it would at least confirm that if Lazy Legs was cheating on him, it would at least be with someone like himself, and that would at least validate her attraction to him.Until the point when Christopher discovers the white hat, a love song plays on a phonograph which is located somewhere outside the frame we are watching. The exact moment when Christopher discovers the hat, the phonograph begins to skip, and the words "In love...In love" begin to repeat. This song represents Christopher's dream of happiness with Lazy Legs, and the moment he discovers the hat, this dream is destroyed, and so is the flow of the song.After these realizations, there is a close up reaction shot of Christopher in a state of shock and disbelief,...

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