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Side Streets (1934)

 -  Drama  -  14 July 1934 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 65 users  
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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), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Aline MacMahon ...
Paul Kelly ...
Dorothy Tree ...
Helen Lowell ...
Henry O'Neill ...
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:
Patricia Ellis ...
Mary Thatcher (scenes deleted)
Marjorie Gateson ...
Mrs. Thatcher (scenes deleted)


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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis








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
See  »

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 (New York City) – 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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