In Naples, where prostitutes can pay their rent, Angela is sentenced to a year in the workhouse when she tries to steal(while streetwalking) to pay for medicine for her dying mother. She escapes and is hidden by a circus, where she's a natural talent and meets Gino, a painter. When she breaks her ankle in a fall, her career ends. What can she and Gino do? He wants to go to Naples, but the law may still be looking for her, and Gino doesn't know about her past. Starving artist and a beauty with a secret: is there room in this world for them? Written by
This film is recognized as the first "talkie" to be shown in New Zealand, on 8 March 1929. There was no recorded dialogue for the "talkie" version, but a recorded music score was added to the film. See more »
"Street Angel" misses greatness by inches. One of three famous late silent movies starring Janet Gaynor (the others were "Sunrise" and "Seventh Heaven"), it's an ultra-romantic melodrama with enormous power. Frank Borzage, a specialist in this kind of film, pulls out all the stops to make this seem almost like an other-worldly fable; the story is painted in broad brush strokes, and the plot has a few echoes of "Les Miserables." The sets and cinematography are outstanding; Gaynor is heartbreakingly beautiful, and her performance is superb. The film's biggest flaw-- almost the only one-- is that near the end it indulges in a wildly improbable coincidence, and it's always awkward when a film closes on a note like that. It isn't quite as good as "Sunrise--" very few movies are-- but for most of its running length this rich, lush film is an absolute joy to watch.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?