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Street Girl (1929)

Passed | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 21 August 1929 (USA)
A homeless and destitute violinist joins a combo to bring it success, but has problems with her love life.


Wesley Ruggles


Jane Murfin (screen play), W. Carey Wonderly (from the story by: "The Viennese Charmer" in Young's Magazine)




Complete credited cast:
Betty Compson ... Frederika Joyzelle
John Harron ... Mike Fall
Jack Oakie ... Joe Spring
Ned Sparks ... Happy Winter
Guy Buccola Guy Buccola ... Pete Summer
Joseph Cawthorn ... Keppel - Cafe Owner
Ivan Lebedeff ... Prince Nicholaus of Aregon
Doris Eaton Doris Eaton ... Singer at Club Joyzelle
Gus Arnheim and His Cocoanut Grove Ambassadors Gus Arnheim and His Cocoanut Grove Ambassadors ... Musical Ensemble at Club Joyzelle (as Gus Arnheim and his Ambassadors)


Jobless, homeless and starving Freddie Joyzelle is saved by Mike Fall from the clutches of a masher, and is then invited to stay with him and his musician partners for at least two weeks. The four men call themselves The Four Seasons because of their surnames: there is also Joe Spring, Happy Winter and Pete Summer. Besides joining their group as a violinist, Freddie cooks and cleans for them and even gets them a gig at the Little Aregon restaurant after they are fired for asking for a raise at their old job. She is from the country of Aregon and knows the owner, Mr. Keppel, also from Aregon. When Prince Nicholaus of Aregon pays a visit to the restaurant and recognizes Freddie, he kisses her on the forehead, creating front page news that makes the restaurant famous. Keppel decides to open a larger restaurant because of the increase in business. Although Mike and Freddie love each other, Mike gets jealous at the attention Freddie gives the Prince, and quits the group two hours before ... Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

violinist | new york | jazz | nightclub | See All (4) »


A laughable, human, heart-compelling drama of a Broadway Cinderella. (Print Ad-Lodi Sentinel, ((Lodi, Calif.)) 24 Octobber 1929) See more »


Drama | Musical | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

21 August 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Princesa do Jazz See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Promotional material claimed Betty Compson was an accomplished violinist and was playing live in her musical scenes, but, in actuality, her playing was mimed to previously recorded violin solos by off screen Russ Columbo who also appears on screen as an uncredited member of Gus Arnheim's Orchestra. This information was later revealed by the music's composer, Oscar Levant. See more »


Keppel - Cafe Owner: Ha-ha, you're in the act. Well, what can you do?
Frederika Joyzelle: What I can do? I show you what I can do. I play the violin for the people, in-and-out of the tables. Real Viennese music. Like we have in Aregon. Hey, Mr. Keppel?
Keppel - Cafe Owner: Ya-ya-ya-ya-ya.
Frederika Joyzelle: I telling you. We make the place up-to-date, with jazz and art music too.
See more »


Version of Four Jacks and a Jill (1942) See more »


Broken Up Tune
(1929) (uncredited)
Music by Oscar Levant
Lyrics by Sidney Clare
Performed by Doris Eaton and the Radio Pictures Beauty Chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

O.K. for 1929
1 October 2008 | by mgconlan-1See all my reviews

I'll say quite a few good things about "Street Girl." The overall plot is serviceable, the songs by Oscar Levant and Sidney Clare are nice period pieces (Levant spent much of his life trying to play on the pop-songwriting turf of his good friend George Gershwin, and he wrote one truly great song — "Blame It on My Youth" — but Gershwin he wasn't), the big musical finale "Broken-Up Tune" is suitably spectacular (I suspect this number was originally in two-strip Technicolor even though it only survives in black-and-white, and in the print just shown on TCM there's one shot in the final sequence that is photographically quite inferior to the rest, suggesting that the film as it stands was pieced back together from partial prints), and above all Wesley Ruggles' direction, though hardly at the imaginative level of Mamoulian's, Capra's, Wyler's, Milestone's or Vidor's in their first talkies, is quite fluid. The camera moves around quite a lot, the editing is fast-paced and the actors speak relatively naturally without the seemingly endless pauses between lines (sometimes between words!) that make a lot of early talkies virtually unwatchable today.

That's the good news. The bad news is the writer's dorky decision to change the origin of Betty Compson's character from a real country, Austria, to a fictitious one, "Aregon" (presumably not to be confused with the real Spanish province of Aragon); the awful accent Compson affects to sound suitably "Aregonese"; the casting of Jack Oakie without giving him any laughs (and he's utterly unable at any point to convince us he can actually play the clarinet); and a pretty sluggish pace despite all the camera movement and quick cutting. Also there's the obvious cheapness of using the same pre-recording of the song "Lovable and Sweet" all three times it's performed (you can tell because of the Beiderbecke-esquire "smear" John Harron's trumpet double performs in his solo each time). It ends up an O.K. movie but you get the impression it could have been better made a few years later — indeed it WAS made better on two separate occasions; "The Girl from Paris" isn't that great a movie either (though at least Lily Pons' accent is her real one!) but it's a damned sight better than this.

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