Back Street



IMDb Rating 6.8 10 605

Keywords:   marriage, mistress, gossip

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 29, 2022 at 07:39 PM


816.83 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 28 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer 5 / 10

A well made but rather pathetic tale.

This 1941 version of "Back Street" is a remake of the 1932 version with Irene Dunne. In this newer version, Margaret Sullavan plays Rae, a woman who is swept off her feet by a handsome man, Walter (Charles Boyer). However, after a mix-up occurs, he thinks she's left he goes on with his life and career. But it wasn't her fault that she missed the boat...and she also, figuratively speaking, misses the boat with Walter.

Five years pass. Rae has moved from Cincinnati to New York City. And, one day she bumps into Walter on the street. They pick up where they left off years before, though their reunion is muted when she learns that he is married and has a child. Now instead of them saying their goodbyes, she agrees to become his mistress. Years pass....and essentially, Rae just sits around her apartment to catch moments with Walter here and there.

What follows is a very sad story about a woman with very low self-esteem spending her life hiding in the shadows...only for the tiny moments she can have with her lover. Many years pass....and still she is his hidden woman. What's next? See the movie...or don't.

"Back Street" is a very slick movie. The acting is excellent, there are some nice supporting actors and the direction is lovely. The only problem, and it's a huge one, is that the story is all about adultery....and it makes for a rather wistful and pathetic one. I had trouble looking past this and felt as if Rae was just a sad chump...not someone I really cared about or could connect with in any way.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 7 / 10

A twist of fate

This second version of Back Street stars Margaret Sullavan as the Fannie Hurst heroine who contents herself with being a mistress to a well known and rich business executive. She has a few chances at marriage with others but this woman won't settle for what she considers second best.

Margaret Sullavan had that tragic quality to her that made her cast so well in these parts. She had an unusual amount of screen deaths among her films like Three Comrades and No Sad Songs For Me. In this one she chooses what amounts to a living death with only moments of happiness.

It was a chance meeting at a railroad station that she meets up and coming business executive Charles Boyer. Boyer's French accent is explained by saying he was originally from New Orleans. Boyer too was born for romantic parts and he had just come off films like Algiers, Love Story, Hold Back The Dawn and All This And Heaven Too. Anoher player born for romance, happy or tragic.

It's a moment of capricious fate arranged by one of Sullavan's male acquaintances Frank Jenks that keeps them apart as she misses a riverboat that she was to leave on with Boyer. The next time they meet Boyer is married, but she agrees to be his mistress she loves him so.

Noting some other fine performances in this version are Esther Dale as Sullavan's stepmother, Frank McHugh as a traveling salesman who introduces Boyer and Sullavan, Richard Carlson as another male acquaintance whose proposal she turns down and who makes a fortune in the up and coming automobile business Samuel S. Hinds as Boyer's father-in-law.

Three of Hollywood's best actresses have played Ray Smith. In order Irene Dunne, Margaret Sullavan and Susan Hayward. Who was best in the role who can say. But I wouldn't want to bet money on a contest poll on any of them. Ray Smith is a choice female role and three choice players have done it.

Reviewed by mark.waltz 7 / 10

She hopes for the best but expects the worst, because she knows it's not real. It's Fanny Hurst.

Movies like this are never a reflection of real life, and they should never be considered a reflection of life in any era. The point is that they packed the audiences in, and if they didn't appeal today, people wouldn't be hunting for them. Classic literature and film is truly engaging when it shows people sacrificing for love and happiness in a way that their neighbors would probably disapprove of but secretly want for themselves. This is a remake of an already classic film made ten years prior, and it's ironic that that versions star, Irene Dunne, appeared in two films with this version's male lead (Charles Boyer) just two years prior.

An exquisitely dressed Margaret Sullavan takes over Dunne's part here, and she shows her independence early on by slapping Frank McHugh across the face for his inappropriate behavior. However when she meets Boyer right after, she is immediately charmed by him, and their love is a foregone conclusion. He's later married, ending up unhappily of course, and by honor and the code of the times must stay with his wife. Boyer and Sullavan are reunited five years later, and their love by now is too strong to blame on missed paddle boats.

You get to see Boyer and Sullavan setting up house with her being kicked out of Cecil Cunningham's home and moving into the house owned by a gregarious heavyset woman (Kitty O'Neil) who obviously knows what's going on and doesn't disapprove. exchange between her and McHugh is hysterical. Sadly though the holidays are all very lonely for Sullavan as social obligations keeps Boyer away from her, but she certainly didn't want to spend it with her ornery stepmother (Esther Dale, stuck playing another one of her opinionated buddies). The looks on Boyer's face though indicate that he is thinking of her.

This story works because it's like a novel with it series of chapters of the sequences in their life, showing Sullavan watching as Boyer rises in success and power, dealing with his now grown children and the ultimate conclusion. The two stars who also appeared in "Appointment With Love" the same year have tremendous chemistry, and are surrounded by a terrific ensemble of character actors mixing the drama with subtle comedy and a romance that no matter how hard it is on Sullavan isn't something she can easily end. It's obvious that she'd rather have 50% of him than no percent of him at all, and that makes this a love story for the ages.

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