The Scarlet Hour was a relatively bold experiment for a mid-1950s Paramount release. The studio expended a great deal of money on the project and enlisted the services of top-flight director Michael Curtiz -- then populated the cast with young unknowns. It also used a series of experimental lenses called Fujinon lenses, which had the distinction of alllowing filming at reduced light levels given their larger than normal apertures. Carol Ohmart and Tom Tryon (yes, the future novelist) star as Paulie and Marsh, respectively the film's villainess and protagonist. Knowing that Marsh is hopelessly in love with her, Paulie uses him as a dupe in an upcoming jewelry heist. Only after a killing has occurred does Marsh come to his senses. Jody Lawrance, whose previous career as a Columbia contract player had led nowhere, is "introduced" as the good girl to whom Marsh eventually retreats. Other comparative newcomers in the cast include Elaine Stritch, James Gregory and Edward Binns. Nat "King" Cole turns up for a nightclub performance of the Ray Evans-Jay Livingston tune
"Never Let Me Go."