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Side Streets (1934)

TV-PG | | Drama | 14 July 1934 (USA)
A destitute sailor secures a job with a spinster who runs a small fur trimming shop. They marry, and soon have a child, but he cheats on her with serious consequences.



(screen play), (story "Fur Coats") | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Aline MacMahon ...
Bertha Krasnoff
Tim O'Hara
Marguerite Gilbert
Dorothy Tree ...
Helen Lowell ...
Henry O'Neill ...
George Richards
Maizie Roach
Renee Whitney ...
Mabel Vernon
Lynn Browning ...
Madeline Ware
Lorena Layson ...
Helen Ware
Dorothy Peterson ...
Mrs. Richards
Clay Clement ...
Paul Kaye ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mary Thatcher (scenes deleted)
Marjorie Gateson ...
Mrs. Thatcher (scenes deleted)


Bertha Krasnoff, better known as Madame Valerie to her customers, is a San Francisco based furrier. Her plain looks and attire belie the glamorous outward nature of the business, she making no real effort in improving her personal appearance. She is a shrewd businesswoman, locating her business on a lower rent side street, and knowing what her customers can and cannot afford to charge them the highest possible price. She meets Tim O'Hara, a sailor. What she doesn't know about him is that he is unable to get a job on a ship due to his reputation as being unreliable. Bertha falls under his spell, first taking him in, then giving him a job despite he providing no real value to the business, and then marrying him. What she also learns shortly after their marriage is that he is a chronic philanderer. What she is also unaware of is that he is biding his time with her until he can get back to the sea. Their marriage goes through ups and downs, the changes sometimes based on the changing ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 July 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Woman in Her Thirties  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Nancy Lee
(1916) (uncredited)
Music by Stephen Adams
Lyrics by Frederick Edward Weatherly
Sung by Paul Kelly while drying dishes
See more »

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User Reviews

A pre-code drama with a moral lesson.
2 May 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Hollywood movies rarely focus on character who are, in the world's eyes,less that beautifully stunning. Aline MacMahon as the heroine here is anything but a beauty in the traditional sense. Paul Kelly is a man's man here, a ship's crew member down on his luck because of his irresponsibility working on cargo ships. Unable to get a job, Kelly spots MacMahon feeding animals in the zoo. She takes sympathy on him when she realizes his plight, and offers him a place to stay. Grateful to her but not interested in her, he nevertheless manipulates her into marrying him in order to secure a place to stay and have a good meal.

Obviously involved with other women, Kelly begins to realize his responsibility when he learns that she's pregnant with his child. Of course, circumstances arise which threaten her happiness and make him look at the type of human being he has become.

The moral lesson of this rather short but interesting drama is that a person's beauty is not judged by their looks, but by the actions from their heart. Kelly, as the selfish sailor, uses the lonely MacMahon to get what he wants. In the process, he has to face his own conscience as he deals with physically beautiful women with hearts of stone. To her character's credit, MacMahon does not make her unbelievably perfect, either; as the owner of a fur shop, she takes obvious pleasure in overcharging the wealthy older men who buy furs for their greedy mistresses. She also deals with a seemingly sweet niece (Ann Dvorak) who takes an interest in Kelly. The writers go out of their way to show the shallowness of the beautiful women MacMahon encounters in her shop, one of whom includes Humphrey Bogart's third wife, Mayo Mathot. These women have no qualms about destroying MacMahon's happiness to get what they want-and what they want is her man!

Kelly plays his character as totally believable. A scoundral who has flashes of morals, he is not one dimensional or unbelievable. The lessons he will have to learn lead to a tearful conclusion. "Side Street", thankfully available through occasional screenings on TCM, is a drama which is thought-provoking as well as entertaining. MacMahon, one of Warner Brother's best actresses of the 30's, is heartbreakingly unforgettable.

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