The Scarlet Hour

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The Scarlet Hour
The Scarlet Hour film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Produced by Michael Curtiz
Screenplay by John Meredyth Lucas
Alford Van Ronkel
Frank Tashlin
Based on "The Kiss Off"
by Frank Tashlin
Starring Carol Ohmart
Tom Tryon
Jody Lawrance
Music by Leith Stevens
Cinematography Lionel Lindon
Edited by Everett Douglas
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • April 1956 (1956-04) (U.S.)
Running time
95 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Scarlet Hour is a 1956 American crime drama film directed and produced by Michael Curtiz, previously director of such noted films as Casablanca, Yankee Doodle Dandy and White Christmas.

The film stars Carol Ohmart, Tom Tryon and Jody Lawrance. The screenplay was based on the story "The Kiss Off" by Frank Tashlin. The song "Never Let Me Go" is performed by Nat King Cole.

Plot[edit]

E. V. Marshall, known to all as "Marsh," works for wealthy real-estate businessman Ralph Nevins and is having a romantic affair with Ralph's unhappy wife, Paulie. He asks her to get a divorce, but Paulie grew up impoverished and refuses to do without her husband's money.

One night they overhear thieves planning a jewelry robbery of a doctor's home. They do not go to the police, concerned that Ralph might learn they were together. When she returns home later, however, Paulie is physically assaulted by her angry husband.

Suspicious of her behavior, Ralph tells his secretary Kathy Stevens that he's planning to take his wife on a vacation and permit Marsh to run the company in his absence. Ralph then follows Paulie when she sees Marsh. Now willing to do anything to get away from her husband, Paulie pleads with Marsh to rob the jewels before the thieves do.

At the scene of the crime, where Marsh successfully breaks into Dr. Sam Lynbury's home and steals the gems, Ralph catches them in the act and Paulie shoots him. Gunfire from the thieves makes Marsh believe they were the ones who shot Ralph.

As the police investigate, Kathy discovers that Ralph has secretly made a recording, explaining his suspicions about his wife. Kathy is in love with Marsh and implores him to go to the police. It turns out, meantime, that Dr. Lynbury has masterminded the burglary of his own home, looking to collect insurance money after having replaced his wife's jewels with worthless fakes. Police eventually place Lynbury under arrest and Paulie as well, with Marsh's cooperation.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

The film received mixed reviews from critics. The UK Times wrote, “It is a very drab hour and a half, in the company of actors who have not yet established their reputations and are unlikely to achieve them as a result of this movie. The story combines a rather unsavory triangle with a jewel robbery and the director Mr. Curtiz has achieved a certain amount of suspense but little else.”

David Bongard of the Herald-Express wrote that "Carol Ohmart is the sultry boss's wife. She has an amazing physical resemblance, in some angles, to Barbara Stanwyck. Obviously she's Curtiz's Galatea in the acting field. If the material weren't so childish and over-dramatic, she might have made a bull's-eye with this. She soon might be capable of the stuff of a Stanwyck or a Bette Davis."

External links[edit]