Asta Nielsen is, as you might expect, the best thing in this standard tragedy-of-a-prostitute movie -- there seems to have been a small genre of them, but the only one that is well remembered today is Pabst's JOYLESS STREET and that's only remembered because Garbo had a part in it. Nielsen was in it too.
Nielsen is an aging streetwalker who falls for a callow youngster, throws out her old boyfriend, Oscar Homolka, who proceeds to set a younger prostitute on the boytoy. Homolka looks and acts in a way that I could easily have confused him with Edward G. Robinson until the latter actor learned how to tone it down except for the big scenes about 1933.
I found this one so unengaging and predictable that I began to notice that the editor didn't even bother to match shots; check out the sequence where Nielsen and Homolka are holding a conversation while seated opposite each other at a table: in the shots framing Homolka, from over Nielsen's shoulder, he is looking at her, but in shots of Nielsen, from over Homolka's shoulder, he is looking down at the table. Very annoying.
Despite these problems, Nielsen manages to carry the picture through her fine acting. Look at her when she is sitting still, drowning in despair. Very real and telling.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this