Mary, a poor farm girl, meets Tim just as word comes that war has been declared. Tim enlists in the army and goes to the battlefields of Europe, where he is wounded and loses the use of his... See full summary »
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams
A feud, the origins of which can barely be remembered, has been boiling for decades between two sheltered mountain families, the Tollivers and the Falins. With plans to build a railroad ... See full summary »
A naïve young man is working on a logging camp beside a turbulent river. When it closes for winter, he opts to stay for the experience. He meets a woman who was the girlfriend to the boss ... See full summary »
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 »
Janet Gaynor stars as the "street angel," a euphemism for prostitute, in this lushly romantic silent film. Of course Gaynor is really not a woman of the streets, but is convicted up this crime and stealing money from a lunch counter, which she does out of desperation to save her sick mother. She escapes the police however and hides out with a traveling circus. She becomes part of the troupe and meets a vagabond artist (Charles Farrell) and falls in love.
His love for her inspires him to create a great painting of her. This art gets him a muralist job with the city. On the verge of marriage, the police find her and take her to prison. Farrell doesn't know what's happened to her and his life is destroyed until a chance meeting on the foggy shores of Naples.
Janet Gaynor is superb as the street angel, quite able to show passion despite her youth and she looks great. Charles Farrell is OK as the artist. Henry Armetta is one of the circus performers, and Natalie Kingston is the mean prostitute.
Director Frank Borzage creates a great city set amidst fog and shadows. This setting is used to great effect in the several chase scenes. The set design and cinematography earned Oscar nominations, and this is one of three films (with Sunrise and Seventh Heaven) for which Gaynor won the very first Oscar as best lead actress (beating out Gloria Swanson and Louise Dresser).
Gaynor achieved stardom at the end of the silent era but easily made the transition to sound and had a solid career through the late 30s. She is best remembered as the star of the original A Star Is Born in 1937.
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