IMDb > The Joyless Street (1925)
Die freudlose Gasse
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guide
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Joyless Street (1925) More at IMDbPro »Die freudlose Gasse (original title)

Photos (See all 16 | slideshow)


User Rating:
7.4/10   1,119 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Up 1% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Hugo Bettauer (based on the novel by) and
F.H. Lyon (translator)
View company contact information for The Joyless Street on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 July 1927 (USA) See more »
Vienna in the biggest depression, directly after WW1. In a slum, Lila Leid, the wife of lawyer Leid is murdered... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
The Sorrows of Joyless Street See more (17 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Asta Nielsen ... Maria Lechner

Greta Garbo ... Greta Rumfort
Ágnes Eszterházy ... Regina Rosenow (as Agnes Esterhazy)

Werner Krauss ... Metzger von Melchiorstrasse
Henry Stuart ... Egon Stirner

Einar Hanson ... Lt. Davis

Gregori Chmara ... Kellner
Karl Etlinger ... Max Rosenow

Ilka Grüning ... Frau Rosenow
Jaro Fürth ... Hofrat Rumfort
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Renate Brausewetter ... Frau (uncredited)
Mario Cusmich ... Oberst Irving (uncredited)
Maria Forescu ... Frau (uncredited)
Robert Garrison ... Don Alfonso Canez (uncredited)

Valeska Gert ... Frau Greifer (uncredited)

Tamara Geva ... Lia Leid (uncredited)
Max Kohlhase ... Marias Vater (uncredited)
Krafft-Raschig ... Amerikanische Soldat (uncredited)
Lya Mara ... Frau (uncredited)
Edna Markstein ... Frau Merkel (uncredited)
Alexander Murski ... Dr. Leid (uncredited)
Loni Nest ... Rosa Rumfort (uncredited)

Iván Petrovich ... Herr (unconfirmed) (uncredited)
Raskatoff ... Trebitsch (uncredited)
Otto Reinwald ... Herr (uncredited)
Gräfin Tolstoi ... Fräulein Henriette (uncredited)

Sylvia Torf ... Marias Mutter (uncredited)
Hertha von Walther ... Else (uncredited)

Directed by
Georg Wilhelm Pabst  (as G.W. Pabst)
Writing credits
Hugo Bettauer (based on the novel by)

Willy Haas  scenario (uncredited)
F.H. Lyon  translator

Produced by
Stefan Drössler .... reconstruction producer (2009)
Jan-Christopher Horak .... reconstruction producer (1998)
Enno Patalas .... reconstruction producer (1989)
Romain Pinès .... producer (uncredited)
Michael Salkind .... producer (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Robert Lach 
Curt Oertel 
Guido Seeber 
Film Editing by
Anatole Litvak (uncredited)
Marc Sorkin (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Otto Erdmann 
Hans Sohnle 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Marc Sorkin .... assistant director
Art Department
Edgar G. Ulmer .... set designer
Music Department
Steve Sterner .... music by (1990)
Other crew
M.A. Portnoy .... titles: English translation (1990)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Die freudlose Gasse" - Germany (original title)
"The Street of Sorrow" - USA
"Viennese Love" - Canada (English title)
See more »
125 min | France:94 min (1981 restored version) | Germany:175 min (1998 restored version at Berlin Film Festival, 16 fps) | Spain:109 min | Belgium:115 min (copy with English titles at Brussels Musée du Cinéma) | Germany:148 min (1998 restored version at Arte/ZDF, 19 fps) | 142 min (1998 restored version on DVD, 20 fps) | Germany:151 min (2009 DVD, 19 fps) | Germany:150 min (2012 print of the Filmmuseum München 1989-2009 restoration) | USA:60 min (edited version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The dark-haired woman waiting in the butcher shop line who is often mistaken for Marlene Dietrich is actually Hertha von Walther. She had a much larger role in the original uncut version of the film. She can also be seen as the lab assistant in Secrets of a Soul (1926) with Werner Krauss.See more »
Movie Connections:


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
17 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
The Sorrows of Joyless Street, 15 July 2006
Author: Diosprometheus from United States

The Sorrows of "The Joyless Street"

Director Georg Wilhelm Pabst's "The Joyless Street" is one of the most censored and mutilated films in history. The film premier on May 18, 1925 in Berlin. The film was a sensation and launched the new reality movement in German film-making.

The film was based on Hugo Bettauer's 1924 serialized novel. The film version would propel Greta Garbo to international fame.

Bettauer would never see the premier of the film based on his novel. On March 26, 1925, Beattauer was dead. Otto Rothstock, a national socialist thug, had shot him to death. Bettauer had ironically written a highly controversial dystopian satirical novel, called "A City Without Jews, A Novel About The Day After Tomorrow." The novel was about the expulsion of the Jews from Austria. Had he lived, Bettauer would have seen his fictitious world become a prophetic reality in 1938.

The original version of "The Joyless Street" was a dark study of life in hyper-inflation Vienna in the wake of the Great War. It was about poverty and despair in a defeated country. In the original film, as in the book, Pabst set out to tell the story how inflation destroyed the sundry spectra of society and led to people to live lives of impoverishment, desperation and despair. Pabst would tell his story through the lives of two main characters, Marie and Greta. Nielson would play Marie, a poverty stricken character with a brutal and cruel father who would prostitute herself for the man she loves but who despises her. Garbo would play Greta, the daughter of a foolish and sickly middle class bureaucrat, would would resist the temptation of easy money and prostitution.

The film shocked European governments. England banned the film from public viewing. Italy, France, Austria and elsewhere would show the film only after it had been considerably mutilated.

Americans thought that the only value of the film was the presence of Greta Garbo. Curiously, Garbo was paid in American dollars rather than worthless German ones.

As a result, most of the available versions of this film were cut to make the international sensation Great Garbo the star the film over the top billed Asta Nielson, who played a woman driven to murder.

Over the years, Nielson's leading part in the film will almost entirely vanish like the Jews in Bettauer's novel.

Garbo was the second lead to the once legendary Asta Nielson.

Most of the story line involving Asta Nielson's character Maria Lechner was cut out of the film.

Most of the story line involving Warner Krauss' abhorrent butcher of Melchoir Street was cut out of the film.

Other story lines, involving other characters, were cut out or toned down.

International censorship removed these segments long ago. They were deemed too controversial and too dangerously political.

When the film was released in America in 1927, Asta Nielson's character was edited out except for a brief part at the beginning.

In 1937, this version was re-released with synchronized music and sound effects. It is this terrible version people have most likely seen.

The result of this censorious butchery a sappy happy Hollywood like ending where an American saves Greta from a life of hunger, misery and prostitution replaced the human tragedy that Pabst was intent on showing in "The Joyless Street".

Rumors persist that Marlene Dietrich had a part in this film. There is no evidence that she ever had a role in this film.

The German actress Herta Von Walther played the part of the woman in Butcher's line who comforts Greta when she collapsed. In the original version, Herta had a bigger part that involved prostituting herself to the Butcher.

Herta Von Walther is forgotten today, but she made four films with director Georg Wilhelm Pabst between the years 1925 and 1928. The four are "The Joyless Street", "Secrets of a Soul", "The Love of Jeanne Ney", "Abwege".

There is no record of director Georg Wilhelm Pabst having ever made any films with Marlene Dietrich. Still the rumors persist.

In 1999, the Munich Filmmuseum partially restored this this film. A 16 mm reduction positive exists in the museum.

Today, the film is mostly remembered as the last European role the timorous, timid Greta Garbo played before coming to America with her mentor Maurice Stiller. In the January 1932 edition of Photoplay magazine, Ruth Biery wrote, "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer paid her $250 a week to secure him for the movies. It is hard to say, "The Joyless Street" is a good or poor picture in its mutilated form but it did not harm Greta Garbo.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (17 total) »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Gone with the Wind Bicycle Thieves Persepolis I Am Cuba Biutiful
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb Germany section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.