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...
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Joseph L. Mankiewicz
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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
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 »
Try to understand that 1961 was the dawn of the sexual revolution predicated on the birth control pill; therefore everything in this movie reflects the pre-1961 era when people were often locked into marriages -- good or bad.
This glamorized version opens the story up from simple people in the 1932 and 1941 versions and makes them self-assured, very good-looking, and easy-street rich. This allows the cameras to give us beautiful vistas of Rome, Paris and London --- as they were before the Great Tourist Invasion which began in 1965 when Pan American World Airways broke with the IATA cartel and slashed fares to Europe, allowing folks like us to join the rich and go there. Now I can tell you that Susan Hayward's Paris hotel was definitely the RITZ -- the Rue Cambon entrance -- the back street entrance near the Ritz Bar where Hemingway evicted a rich woman's pet lion by throwing said lion out on the sidewalk.
Under David Miller's able direction, the narrative is kept solid; even though it's hard to find sympathy for the romantic problems of two persons who otherwise have it all.
Not available on DVD, you can find a VHS on eBay; but it won't be cheap.
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