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 »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Back Street (1932)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A woman's love for and devotion to a married man results in her being relegated to the "back streets" of his life.

Director: John M. Stahl
Stars: Irene Dunne, John Boles, June Clyde
Back Street (1941)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Pretty Rae Smith and handsome Walter Saxel meet, fall in love and make plans to marry. Unfortunately, their marriage plans get sabotaged when a jealous beau makes Rae miss the ceremony. The... See full summary »

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Charles Boyer, Margaret Sullavan, Richard Carlson
Ada (1961)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Bo Gillis is running for Governor. Steve writes the speeches, Sylvester runs the campaign and Bo plays the guitar. Everything is going according to the plan until a hooker named Ada is ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Mann
Stars: Susan Hayward, Dean Martin, Wilfrid Hyde-White
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
Midnight Lace (1960)
Thriller | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In London, a newly-wed American woman's sanity comes into question, when she claims to be the victim of a stalker.

Director: David Miller
Stars: Doris Day, Rex Harrison, John Gavin
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A prostitute, sentenced to death for murder, pleads her innocence.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Susan Hayward, Simon Oakland, Virginia Vincent
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A divorced couple's teen-age daughter stands trial for stabbing her mother's latest lover.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Bette Davis, Susan Hayward, Mike Connors
Picnic (1955)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Emotions are ignited amongst the complacent townsfolk when a handsome drifter arrives in a small Kansas community on the morning of the Labour Day picnic.

Director: Joshua Logan
Stars: William Holden, Kim Novak, Betty Field
Crime Wave (1954)
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Reformed parolee Steve Lacey is caught in the middle when a wounded former cellmate seeks him out for shelter.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Gene Nelson, Sterling Hayden, Phyllis Kirk
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Anglo-Indian Victoria Jones seeks her true identity amid the chaos of the British withdrawal from India.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Ava Gardner, Stewart Granger, Bill Travers
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A crime-busting lawyer and his initially reluctant attorney father take on the forces that run gambling and prostitution in their small Southern town.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: John McIntire, Richard Kiley, Kathryn Grant
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Film version of Jacqueline Susann's best-selling novel chronicling the rise and fall of three young women in show business.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Barbara Parkins, Patty Duke, Paul Burke
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Rae Smith
...
Paul Saxon
...
Liz Saxon
...
...
Janey nee Smith
...
Dalian
Tammy Marihugh ...
Caroline
Robert Eyer ...
Paul Saxon Jr.
...
Mrs. Evans
Doreen McLean ...
Miss Hatfield
...
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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 October 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La calle de atrás  »

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

Is featured in Stevie Wonder's "Part Time Lover" music video. 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 (1932) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

"You know the worst part? He tried to seduce me with domestic champagne!"

Even in 1961, this had to be taken as a parody of the plush, woman's picture genre. The story had already been filmed in 1932 and 1941, and was creaky by any standard. All the deluxe Ross Hunter trappings (gowns by Jean Louis, jewels by Alexandre) are even more inflated here, with Hayward's gowns designed to match the drapes in the background. The overblown extravagance of the whole production makes Hunter's epics with Lana Turner look like second-string, double feature fare. Oscar-winner Hayward began her descent into strictly camp territory with this warhorse of a soaper; 1963's "Stolen Hours" (a remake of the Bette Davis classic, "Dark Victory") and 1964's "Where Love Has Gone" (co-starring Davis!) continued the trend, until it culminated in Hayward's (indeed, the world's) pinnacle of trash, "Valley of the Dolls" (1967). But back to "Back Street." The well-worn story concerns Hayward, an impossibly chic fashion designer, who is in love with the impossibly handsome (and improbably wooden) John Gavin, a married department store heir. Gavin's wife happens to be rip-roaring alcoholic Vera Miles, who is prone to falling down drunk at parties and threatening suicide. Hayward is nobly self-sacrificing, content to be the "back street" woman for the sake of Gavin's children (who are played by utterly resistible tots). That is, until Miles becomes one of Hayward's couture clients! This is the kind of loopy film where Hayward goes from being a scrappy little dressmaker to world famous couturier in, oh, ten minutes; where elaborate scenes are set up solely to showcase Jean Louis' scrumptious creations (they have no plot bearing whatsoever); and where John Gavin is somehow allowed to play his Really! Big! Scene! as if he's had a full frontal lobotomy (of course, he's so damned gorgeous, you really don't care). Oddly enough, Miles walks off with the film--her teeth are so firmly set into the scenery, you couldn't remove her if you tried, unless you wanted to pull back a bloody stump. (Lana Turner would never have let a supporting player upstage her show!) Hayward clearly took note to never let that happen again, and would give nothing but nostril-flaring, eye-bugging performances for the balance of her career. Look also for Natalie "Lovey Howell" Moorehead in a small but hilarious role as one of Hayward's gossipy clients. As swoony as all this is, "Back Street" is perfect lowbrow entertainment with highbrow trappings, and a sad reminder that, once upon a time, Hollywood DID make stuff like this--when even "bad" movies at least had a healthy shot of glamour to make them enjoyable.


22 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Susan Hayward As Mistress? straykitten
the Characters in back street Ellybama23
JOHN GAVIN AS THE PERFECT LEADING MAN kenolting
Backstreet 1961 LiviaJmz
Background music--Tchaikovsky? craighenderson-925-318178
Discuss Back Street (1961) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?