The Scarf (film)

The Scarf is a 1951 American drama, suspense, crime, psychological, thriller film noir directed by Ewald André Dupont and starring John Ireland, Mercedes McCambridge, James Barton, and Emlyn Williams.[1] The screenplay concerns a man who escapes from an insane asylum and tries to convince a crusty hermit, a drifting saloon singer, and himself that he is not a murderer.

The Scarf
Theatrical release poster
Directed byEwald André Dupont
Produced byIsadore Goldsmith
Screenplay byEwald André Dupont
Story byIsadore Goldsmith
E.A. Rolfe
StarringJohn Ireland
Mercedes McCambridge
James Barton
Emlyn Williams
Music byHerschel Burke Gilbert
CinematographyFranz Planer
Edited byJoseph Gluck
Gloria Productions Inc.
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • April 6, 1951 (1951-04-06) (United States)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited States


Mercedes McCambridge plays a singing waitress named Cash-and-Carry Connie. John Ireland stars as John Barrington, an escapee from an institution for the criminally insane. Actually, Barrington is not a looney tune, but instead the victim of an insidious plot orchestrated by a clever murderer. The only person who believes Barrington's story is turkey-farmer Ezra Thompson (James Barton), who hides Our Hero from the authorities. Things really get hopping when the aforementioned Connie unwittingly provides the clue that will prove Barrington's innocence. Co-starring is Emlyn Williams as an all-too-cooperative psychiatrist.



Critical response

Film critic Bosley Crowther panned the film, "For a picture so heavily loaded with lengthy and tedious talk, talk, talk, The Scarf, the new tenant at the Park Avenue, has depressingly little to say. As a matter of fact, it expresses, in several thousand words of dialogue—and in a running-time that amounts to just four minutes short of an hour and a half—perhaps the least measure of intelligence or dramatic continuity that you are likely to find in any picture, current or recent, that takes itself seriously."[2]


  1. The Scarf at the American Film Institute Catalog.
  2. Crowther, Bosley. The New York Times, film review, April 23, 1951. Accessed: August 10, 2013.
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