A woman on the run from the law finds her past catching up to her just as she is on the verge of true happiness.A woman on the run from the law finds her past catching up to her just as she is on the verge of true happiness.A woman on the run from the law finds her past catching up to her just as she is on the verge of true happiness.
"Street Angel" is a Neapolitan effort.The follow -up to "Seventh Heaven" ,with the same actors ,its first part is a bit erratic,recalling "Heaven" but without its focus and its intensity.But by the second third ,the movie really takes off ;it grabs you when Gino and Angela move into their small apartment in Napoli.And when the girl,about to be arrested,is given one hour's grace,Borzage's movie turns sublime.This hour ...this hour....If it were only for that scene,Janet Gaynor would deserve her AA hands down.This is really one of the most beautiful love scenes I have ever seen: you should see the actress smile ,laugh through her tears ,her intense happiness which she knows will be short-lived: and doing that without any words is a feat which is even more impressive today.
Other remarkable scenes: When Angela is in Jail ,and Gino is desperately searching for her,the director makes a stunning use of the shadows.
The misty harbor "where there are plenty of them (street angels)" where the lovers meet again.
And last but not least ,the painting ("You should not have sold it,it was our guardian angel" ) which plays a prominent part in the plot ;the final harrowing scene in the church is Gina's redemption.A sequence to rival the best of Murnau's "Daybreak" .
Frank Borzage is the poet of the lovers who've got to fight against a hostile world."On the street ,you will find people whose love and pain make great" the director tells us before his story begins.
- Mar 17, 2007