MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 151 this week

Back Street (1961)

 -  Drama  -  12 October 1961 (USA)
6.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 604 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 2 critic

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 »

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

Sundance 2015

Watch our IMDb & AIV Sundance Studio Interviews with Keith Simanton

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 43 titles
created 29 May 2011
 
a list of 5108 titles
created 19 Sep 2011
 
a list of 771 titles
created 04 Mar 2012
 
a list of 3181 titles
created 16 Jan 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Back Street" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Back Street (1961)

Back Street (1961) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Back Street.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Tammy leaves the river in Mississippi to attend college, developing a relationship with Tom Freeman (John Gavin). Sandra Dee replaces Debbie Reynolds in this and the third Tammy movie. This... See full summary »

Director: Harry Keller
Stars: Sandra Dee, John Gavin, Charles Drake
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A physician Christine Allison)is employed by an attorney, played by Peter Finch, who formerly prosecuted her on charges of euthanasia to watch over his mentally ill wife.

Director: Robert Stevens
Stars: Susan Hayward, Peter Finch, Diane Cilento
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

1850 adventure story of the Basque immigrants on their way to California, their struggle with the Indians, and the development of a complicated love triangle.

Director: Russell Rouse
Stars: Susan Hayward, Jeff Chandler, Jacques Bergerac
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Deprived of a normal childhood by her ambitious mother, Katie, Lillian Roth becomes a star of Broadway and Hollywood before she is twenty. Shortly before her marriage to her childhood ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Mann
Stars: Susan Hayward, Richard Conte, Eddie Albert
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A Swedish woman wants her American host to father her baby.

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: Susan Hayward, James Mason, Julie Newmar
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Angie Evans, fast-rising nightclub singer, interrupts her career to marry struggling songwriter Ken Conway. When Ken lucks into a career as chart-topping radio crooner, Angie is forced into... See full summary »

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Susan Hayward, Lee Bowman, Marsha Hunt
Madame X (1966)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A woman married to a wealthy socialite, is compromised by the accidental death of a man who had been romantically pursuing her, and is forced by her mother-in-law to assume a new identity ... See full summary »

Director: David Lowell Rich
Stars: Lana Turner, John Forsythe, Ricardo Montalban
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Susan Hayward, Stephen Boyd, Barbara Nichols
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The head of a large publishing empire is dismayed when a top army general is about to be appointed to an atomic energy committee. She's determined to discredit him prior to the appointment ... See full summary »

Director: H.C. Potter
Stars: Susan Hayward, Kirk Douglas, Paul Stewart
Summer Flight (1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Mike, a famed racing driver and an old flame of hers, is worried that Laura may be ill. Tricking her into a doctor's examination, she discovers she is; a brain operation to remove a tumor ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Petrie
Stars: Susan Hayward, Michael Craig, Diane Baker
Drama | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

You'll Find Yourself in a Whirlpool of Wine, Women and Wonderful Fun!

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Sophia Loren, Maurice Chevalier, John Gavin
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The story of president Andrew Jackson from his early years, the film begins when he meets Rachel Donaldson Robards. The plot concentrates on the scandal concerning the legality of their ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Levin
Stars: Susan Hayward, Charlton Heston, John McIntire
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Rae Smith
...
Paul Saxon
...
Liz Saxon
Charles Drake ...
Curt Stanton
Virginia Grey ...
Janey nee Smith
Reginald Gardiner ...
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
Edit

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 October 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A História de um Grande Amor  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The world premier was in Hollywood at the Warner Theater (later the Pacific Cinerama Theater) at 6433 Hollywood Blvd. A picture postcard was made showing a photograph of the opening night scene of "Back Street". The image with searchlights, cars, and crowds was depicted as a "typical Hollywood scene". See more »

Quotes

Mr. Venner: [welcoming her to his shaded hotel room] I've been looking forward to seeing you.
Rae Smith: But then why don't you turn on the lights? I don't glow in the dark you know.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Universal Story (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A street you'll love being on.
7 November 2002 | by (Cincinnati, OH) – See all my reviews

Watching this film is like having only cookies and ice cream for dinner. One feels guilt-ridden and knows he shouldn't have done it, but it was so good he's almost ready to do it again...and probably will! Producer Ross Hunter was at the helm so there aren't going to be any grey settings, uncombed hair or even a dirt smudge throughout. The film is a masterwork of overproduction and color coordination...the type of film that credits the furs and the oil paintings (!) in the titles. Hayward plays a single career woman in the mid-1940's who dreams of being a successful clothing designer. These early scenes have all the period detail of the 1940's as say...1958. On one eventful meeting with a potential backer, she collides with and instantaneously falls in love with Gavin, a marine just home from WWII. Who can blame her? He's a hunky dream come true and, for a certain amount of the film, he even has facial expression. His mating ritual includes bullying Hayward across a park lawn until she falls face first into a flower patch. From then on, she's hooked. Unfortunately, they are separated by a misunderstanding or two. Cut to years later (where Hayward, 11 years older than Gavin, looks younger and he now has grey in his hair!) which sees Hayward as a designer of dresses with "line" and style. Amusing support is provided by acerbic Gardiner as her mentor and Schafer (Mrs. Howell of "Gilligan's Island") as a gossipy client. The film globe trots to Paris, London, Rome (though, for some reason, a horrific Hayward body double does all the real travelling.) In one of the films many, MANY clichés and contrivances (Hayward even states at one point that, "All the clichés are true."), the former lovebirds are reunited over the fallen-down body of Gavin's wife Miles. Here, the film takes a powerful turn into the camp stratosphere as shrewy, boozy, slutty Miles (in a stunningly vivid performance) makes the pair's lives miserable. Miles is so intensely evil and vengeful that she becomes a sort of hilarious supervillain when compared with the rather saintly, drab lovers. Her histrionics are like manna from Heaven, no more so than when she makes a triumphant and highly memorable appearance at one of Hayward's fashion shows. Gavin also has two kids. One (Marihugh) is a pretty silent Shirley Temple wannabee. The other (Eyer) is a snotty, annoying child who was scarcely ever heard from again, he so irritated filmgoers. The "Back Street" of the title is SUPPOSED to refer to a secretive, undesirable place for the mistress to be kept away on. In Hunter's version, it's a completely charming cottage in the country! Gavin provides Hayward with the cottage's first piece of decor, but note how she moves it from it's original spot so that we can have a special fade out at the end. The comic book-level melodramatics of the film are emphasized right away by titles that show Lichtenstein-esque pictures of the star trio accompanied by a typically heart-tugging Frank Skinner score. In a spiteful move against the audience, Gavin is shown in clingy swim trunks, but only briefly, from the waist up and in a dimly lit scene! Hayward shows a lot of energy and conviction in her role. Her best scenes involve several pivotal telephone calls. Another note: Grey (a charming actress who plays Hayward's sister) is the same age in real life, yet looks like she could play Hayward's mother! Did she live hard or was she denied the star lighting that Hayward got?? Hunter considered her his good luck charm and cast her in nearly everything until "Lost Horizon". Big mistake to leave her out! That was a notorious flop.


14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
the Characters in back street Ellybama23
JOHN GAVIN AS THE PERFECT LEADING MAN kenolting
Backstreet 1961 LiviaJmz
Susan Hayward As Mistress? straykitten
Discuss Back Street (1961) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?