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Street Angel (1928)

Not Rated | | Drama | 19 August 1928 (USA)
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.

Director:

Frank Borzage

Writers:

Monckton Hoffe (play), Philip Klein (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Janet Gaynor ... Angela
Charles Farrell ... Gino
Natalie Kingston ... Lisetta
Henry Armetta ... Masetto
Guido Trento Guido Trento ... Neri -- Police Sergeant
Alberto Rabagliati Alberto Rabagliati ... Policeman (as Alberto Ragabliati)
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Storyline

In Naples, where prostitutes can pay their rent, Angela is sentenced to a year in the workhouse when she tries to steal(while streetwalking) to pay for medicine for her dying mother. She escapes and is hidden by a circus, where she's a natural talent and meets Gino, a painter. When she breaks her ankle in a fall, her career ends. What can she and Gino do? He wants to go to Naples, but the law may still be looking for her, and Gino doesn't know about her past. Starving artist and a beauty with a secret: is there room in this world for them? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE SOUL-STIRRING LOVE LYRIC (Print Ad- Rochester Times-Union, ((Rochester, NY)) 6 November 1928) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

19 August 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El ángel de la calle See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Film Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent | Mono (Movietone) (music and sound effects)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Assuming its copyright has not lapsed already, this film and all others produced in 1928 enter the U.S. public domain in 2024. See more »

Quotes

Accuser: Thief! Circus vagabond! You stole my sausage!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Janet Gaynor (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Angela Mia (My Angel)
(uncredited)
Music by Erno Rapee
Lyrics by Lew Pollack
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Back in Heaven with Janet Gaynor
21 February 2011 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

With her ailing mother in need of medicine, pretty poverty-stricken Janet Gaynor (Angela) desperately decides to sell herself for sex on the streets of Naples, Italy. Unable to attract any interested male customers, the innocent-looking Ms. Gaynor steals some money instead. Gaynor is caught, and convicted of "robbery while soliciting." As she is led to serve her year in the workhouse, Gaynor escapes and joins the circus. A leggy attraction, she leaves upon meeting handsome painter Charles Farrell (as Gino). The couple are planning to be married when Gaynor's past threatens to end their happiness…

Happiness is foreplay when Gaynor caresses Farrell's feet; in a startling scene, they are the symbols of fertility…

"Street Angel" is the lesser known of the three films for which Gaynor won her "Best Actress" Oscar, and it is often mentioned as being the film in which the sweet, wholesome actress played a prostitute. After seeing the film, it's clear she is never really a prostitute; this story, like others from the silent era, makes the prostitutes very clear (without showing any sex), and Gaynor's character is not one of them (you could call her a failed prostitute). Also surprisingly (or not, if you've seen it), this performance by Gaynor is worthy of a "Best Actress" nomination on its own, as was "7th Heaven"…

The song sounding like Elvis Presley's "It's Now or Never" is the beautiful Italian standard "O Sole Mio"…

Frank Borzage, who won the first "Academy Award" as "Best Director" for his "7th Heaven" (also with Gaynor and Farrell) could have won for this film. It may not be up to Frank Murnau's "Sunrise" levels, but "Street Angel" is still extraordinarily beautiful. The photography by Ernest Palmer and Paul Ivano, along with the settings by Harry Oliver also received award attention (outside of its initial eligibility year). You'll see why. The only thing keeping "Street Angel" from perfect is the rather too ordinary, overused storyline; moreover, its celebration of virginity is taken to pretentious extremes.

********* Street Angel (4/8/28) Frank Borzage ~ Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell, Alberto Rabagliati, Natalie Kingston


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