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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
In Naples, the young Angela (Janet Gaynor) needs 20 Lira to buy medicine for her terminal mother. She sees the prostitutes on the street and she decides to sell her body to earn the money. She does not succeed and tries to steal money from a customer of a street vendor. Angela is arrested and sentenced to one year in prison but she escapes and finds her mother dead. While chased by the policemen, she is hidden by Mascetto (Henry Armetta), who owns a traveling circus, and she works with his team.
Angela meets the painter Gino (Charles Farrell) and they fall in love with each other. When Angela breaks her ankle in a fall, she returns to Naples with Gino that grows as painter and is hired to paint a mural in the church. Gino proposes to marry Angela but a policeman recognizes Angela and gives one hour to her to say goodbye to Gino. Angela does not tell him about her past and vanishes from his life.
One year later, Angela is released and she immediately goes to see the mural painted by her beloved Gino. However she sees the name of Roberti instead and she learns that Gino had been fired. Now the starving Angela wanders on the harbor. Meanwhile a prostitute tells to Gino that his love is a "street angel" and he decides to paint again, not the face, but the soul of prostitutes and seeks a model on the harbor. When they stumble on each other, Gino sees her soul through her eyes and they stay together.
"Street Angel" is silent movie with a wonderful melodramatic romance and magnificent performance of Janet Gaynor, the first winner of an Oscar in the Best Actress in a Leading Role category for her work in "7th Heaven", "Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans" and "Street Angel". The camera work is amazing for a 1928 movie and the introduction is impressive with a long 360 degrees shot. The cinematography is also stunning and this movie deserved to be restored. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): "Anjo da Rua" ("Street Angel")
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