7.1/10
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Back Street (1932)

Passed | | Drama | 30 December 1932 (USA)
A woman's love for and devotion to a married man results in her being relegated to the "back streets" of his life.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Mrs. Dole
...
Francine
...
Corinne Saxel - Walter's Wife
...
Richard Saxel - Walter's Son
...
Beth Saxel - Walter's Daughter
Maude Turner Gordon ...
Mrs. Saxel - Walter's Mother
...
Bakeless
James Donlan ...
Profhero
Paul Weigel ...
...
...
Uncle Felix
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Storyline

A woman's love for and devotion to a married man results in her being relegated to the "back streets" of his life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »

Taglines:

Waiting--always waiting--in the shadows of the back streets...longing for the man she loves...asking nothing, receiving nothing--yet content to sacrifice all for him. WHY?

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 December 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Esquina do Pecado  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Ray Schmidt: I know myself so well - it's all the way or zero with me.
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Connections

Version of Back Street (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A pre-code film in which Ray and Walter fall in love...but he's married!
27 November 2016 | by See all my reviews

Ha...I thought my summary would get your attention! While "Back Street" is clearly a pre-code film in its sensibilities, it's not THAT open-minded. You see, Ray is a lady (Irene Dunne)--an oddly named on at that! But, she does fall in love with a married man...and that definitely gives the film pre-code sensibilities.

The film begins in Cincinnati around the turn of the 20th century and much of it takes place around Over the Rhine--a neighborhood in the northern portion of the city and which was known for its German community and beer gardens (now...it's a far more unsavory area...but improving). Because I lived in Cincinnati for 14 years, I enjoyed hearing about the area--such as her lover, Walter (John Boles) who lived in nearby Hamilton as well as their meeting in Eden Park. In fact, for that reason, the film is a must-see for Cincinnatians. But should other folks watch "Back Street"? Read on.

When the film begins, Ray is a popular lady with many suitors. However, she inexplicably falls for Walter and falls hard. However, the night they are supposed to meet, they somehow miss each other and only meet up again five years later--after he's married and has a family. Despite this, the pair begin seeing each other and Ray throws caution and morality to the wind. He soon rents her an apartment and she's a kept woman...Walter's mistress while he pretends to be a good husband.

For me, "Back Street" is a very hard sell...even with its Cincinnati connection. After all, it's hardly a romance since the plot is all about adultery. The film does seem to paint it in romantic terms and there is a speech by Walter later in the film where he justifies having this mistress for decades. Romantic...certainly not. Plus, so often Ray just comes of as pathetic...especially when she lectures another kept woman about the sanctity of marriage and then, literally, Walter walks in the door and she drops everything to run to him! As for Walter, he's just a selfish jerk despite his lovely speech glorfying the joys of adultery! Well acted and interesting...but also a sad film that is easy to dislike. Perhaps too 'modern' in its sensibilities for an old fashioned guy like me. Slickly made but not a film I enjoyed.


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