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Back Street (1961)

Passed | | Drama | 12 October 1961 (USA)
In Lincoln, the ambitious aspirant-designer Rae Smith has an incident with a wolf department store businessman and is rescued by the Marine Paul Saxon. They immediately fall in love with ... See full summary »


David Miller


Fannie Hurst (novel), Eleanore Griffin (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Susan Hayward ... Rae Smith
John Gavin ... Paul Saxon
Vera Miles ... Liz Saxon
Charles Drake ... Curt Stanton
Virginia Grey ... Janey
Reginald Gardiner ... Dalian
Tammy Marihugh ... Caroline
Robert Eyer Robert Eyer ... Paul Saxon Jr.
Natalie Schafer ... Mrs. Evans
Joseph Cronin Joseph Cronin ... Airport Clerk (as Joe Cronin)
Doreen McLean Doreen McLean ... Miss Hatfield
Ted Thorpe Ted Thorpe ... Hotel Clerk
Alex Gerry ... Mr. Venner
Joseph Mell ... Proprietor
Karen Norris Karen Norris ... Mrs. Penworth


In Lincoln, the ambitious aspirant-designer Rae Smith has an incident with a wolf department store businessman and is rescued by the Marine Paul Saxon. They immediately fall in love with each other and spend the night together. On the next morning, Paul needs to return to Chicago and calls Rae to go with him. However she misses the plane and Paul travels alone. Soon she learns that he is married with children and she is convinced by her sister to move to New York where she succeeds in the fashion world. Paul, who owns a department store chain, stumbles upon her on the street and their love is rekindled. However, Rae decides to leave New York and her boss and partner convinces her to open a store in Rome. Some time later, they meet each other again and Rae learn that Paul is indeed unhappily married with the alcoholic Liz Saxon. They have a love affair and Paul buys a country house at the countryside of France where they spend their leisure time together. But their lives shatter when ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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




Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


According to the patch on his uniform's left shoulder, Paul served with the U.S. Marine's 2nd Divsion. The top two medal ribbons on his uniform are for the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. See more »


After Rae's confrontation with Paul's son, she drives out to the country house and turns off the paved road onto a dirt road. But, in the next shot, the rear-screen projection still shows the paved road. See more »


Mr. Venner: [welcoming her to his shaded hotel room] I've been looking forward to seeing you.
Rae Smith: But then why don't you turn on the lights? I don't glow in the dark you know.
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Remake of Back Street (1932) See more »


Symphony No.4 in E minor - I. Allegro non troppo
Composed by Johannes Brahms
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User Reviews

Good film and enjoyable repeat viewing.
16 January 2007 | by stephen-carlSee all my reviews

I have watched this film probably more than a dozen times and finally purchased the DVD even though it was only available in full TV-Sized screen format. It may be low brow and poor in most respects for a movie critic's standards, but I love it. I did not think either Hayward or Gavin did a bad or wooden job with their performances. Maybe I am just a patsy for tear-jerker style movies, but I have always enjoyed this movie, even today when it appears so dated and somewhat impoverished by today's standards of movie making. Perhaps we have become too jaded and so-called sophisticated to just sit back and appreciate a story that is reasonably well told and beautifully filmed.

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Release Date:

12 October 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La calle de atrás See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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