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Street Singer (1938)

La goualeuse (original title)


Fernand Rivers


Jean Guitton (scenario and dialogue), Ludovic Halévy (play) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Lys Gauty Lys Gauty ... Marie-Jeanne, la Goualeuse
Constant Rémy ... André Laubier
Jean Martinelli ... Pierre Duchemin
Marguerite Pierry Marguerite Pierry ... Adélaïde Pastoureau
Francine Bessy Francine Bessy ... Marcelle Laubier
Dorville Dorville ... Baduchard
Carlotta Conti Carlotta Conti ... Marthe de Servannes
Solange Varenne Solange Varenne ... Églantine
Liliane Lesaffre Liliane Lesaffre ... Julienne
Arthur Devère ... Pastoureau
Rivers Cadet Rivers Cadet ... Filochet
Maurice Dorléac Maurice Dorléac ... L'avocat
Roger Monteaux Roger Monteaux ... Le juge
Edmond Roze Edmond Roze ... Firmin Broustel
Armand Lurville Armand Lurville ... Le président des assises (as Lurville)


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Did You Know?


Dis-moi Pourquoi
Music by Joseph Kosma
Lyrics by Michel Vaucaire and Gaston Groener
Performed by Lys Gauty
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User Reviews

Happiness has gone out of my heart.
25 June 2020 | by ulicknormanowenSee all my reviews

"La goualeuse " bears more than a distant resemblance to Raymond Bernard's "le coupable"(1936);both were remakes of silent movies ;both are ,of course,melodrama, nothing but melodrama.

A "goualeuse" (an obsolete word) is a female street singer , who sings to earn her daily bread : Edith Piaf began her career as a goualeuse ,but many of those gals were in dire straits ,often starving.

Lys Gauty only appeared twice on the silver screen and was essentially a successful singer: cine buffs will remember she sang "le chaland qui passe" ,the song featured in Jean Vigo's classic "l'Atalante "(1933-34),included against the director's will.

As she was not really a professional actress,Lys Gauty copes well with this part of a doomed gal , living on a barge -another similarity with Vigo's masterpiece .

For people who love melodramas,it's a real guilty pleasure ,and in spite of Fernand Rivers' flat direction ,it grabs the viewer from start to finish.

There's a fine colorful depiction of the banks of the river Marne where a wedding is to take place ,but the less-than-attractive fiancés stays aside , the main characters are Pierre Duchemin, a young man with a chip on his shoulder and his lover,la goualeuse.Whereas she's resigned to her fate ,he rebels against a society who left him by the wayside .His resentment is intense.

In spite of the melodramatic effects ,there's an anarchist side to "la goualeuse"; In the laws court where they are summoned , the humble people who often live on a barge feel the gap between them, humble uneducated people ,and the magistrates ,the wealthy man's lawyer .They are worlds apart .During the trial ,they often involuntary turn the questionings into a farce .

For the wealthy man,there's always a providential world; for the illegitimate son and for the girl born in the gutter , the ending leaves no hope; whereas "le coupable" featured a (not very plausible) happy end , "la goualeuse " denouement is close to film noir at its darkest.

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Release Date:

28 October 1938 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

La alondra y el milano See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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