Ambitious but thwarted, Rae Smith meets handsome Marine Paul Saxon, (of the Saxon department store chain), as he passes through Lincoln, Nebraska, on his way home from World War II. There's... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Rae Smith
...
Paul Saxon
...
Liz Saxon
Charles Drake ...
Virginia Grey ...
Janey nee Smith
...
Dalian
Tammy Marihugh ...
Caroline
Robert Eyer ...
Paul Saxon Jr.
...
Mrs. Evans
Doreen McLean ...
Miss Hatfield
Alex Gerry ...
Mr. Venner
Karen Norris ...
Mrs. Penworth
...
Charley Claypole
Mary Lawrence ...
Marge Claypole
Joseph Cronin ...
Airport Clerk
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Storyline

Ambitious but thwarted, Rae Smith meets handsome Marine Paul Saxon, (of the Saxon department store chain), as he passes through Lincoln, Nebraska, on his way home from World War II. There's a definite spark between them but circumstances intervene and he leaves town without her. Later she learns he's married. Determined to make it as a fashion designer, Rae moves to New York and becomes a great success. One day she happens to meet Paul again and again there's that spark but he's still married so, as a form of escape, Rae moves to Rome to set up shop. Once again she meets Paul and finally they begin an actual affair since Paul's shrewish, drunken wife, Liz, won't give him a divorce. Time passes, the affair continues whenever time and place permit, but then, Paul's young son finds out about Rae and Rae's back-street world begins to crumble. Written by dinky-4 of Minneapolis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She Shut Her Eyes to Shame...When She Opened Her Heart to Love!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

12 October 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La calle de atrás  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Third screen version of Fannie Hurt's novel. See more »

Quotes

Rae Smith: Do you know the worst part? He was trying to seduce me with champagne - domestic champagne.
See more »

Connections

Version of Back Street (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wooden, Glossy Romance
9 February 2003 | by (San Francisco,CA,USA) – See all my reviews

The two things you can always count on with a Ross Hunter film are big stars and lavish set pieces, and "Back Street" does not disappoint. Susan Hayward and John Gavin are here, in their glossed-up best, as doomed lovers thrown together and then torn apart by circumstance. Their longing glances, surrounded lovingly by Hunter's fetish for color and music, are uber-dramatic and unconvincing. Gavin, while aesthetically-stunning, is as stiff as a board. So, is Hayward, although she tends to be able to emote a little bit more. The real "star" of this film is Vera Miles. She livens up the proceedings as Gavin's psychotic, alcoholic wife. She is the only one here who's emotions really come across as legitimate. Nonetheless, "Back Street" does accomplish what it sets out to do - it wraps up a neat, tidy story into 2 hours of lush soap opera with big names who go through all the sudsy motions. This movie wants to be a Douglas Sirk film, but comes across as something much less. Ross Hunter scores big here with his awesome production values, though. And Frank Skinner, as usual, provides a solid, thunderous score. For fans of classic melodrama only.


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