Back Street

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  • Passed
  • 1961
  • 1 hr 47 min
  • 6.6  (1,273)

Back Street is a romantic drama film released in 1961 and directed by David Miller. The movie is based on a novel of the same name by Fannie Hurst. The film stars Susan Hayward, John Gavin, and Vera Miles in the leading roles. Back Street tells the story of Rae Smith (Susan Hayward), a successful commercial artist who meets a wealthy businessman named Walter Saxel (John Gavin) on a business trip to New York. Walter is instantly attracted to Rae and the two start dating. However, Walter is already married and has a son, but he keeps this fact hidden from Rae. Despite knowing that Walter is hiding something from her, Rae falls deeply in love with him.

Their relationship becomes an affair, and they continue to see each other for several years. During this time, Rae is forced to maintain a low profile and keep her relationship with Walter hidden from the public eye. She lives a double life, keeping her work and relationships separate from each other. Meanwhile, Walter’s wife (Vera Miles), who is aware of her husband’s affair, becomes sick and Walter spends more time with her, leaving Rae feeling neglected and alone.

As the years go by, Rae’s love for Walter grows stronger, but his behavior becomes increasingly erratic. Eventually, Walter’s wife dies, and Rae believes that she and Walter will finally be able to be together. However, Walter’s guilt over his infidelity and the loss of his wife causes him to push Rae away.

Back Street is a deeply emotional film that tackles difficult themes such as infidelity, love, and the consequences of one’s actions. The movie is beautifully shot and features excellent performances by the lead actors. The chemistry between John Gavin and Susan Hayward is palpable, and both actors deliver nuanced, heartfelt performances.

Susan Hayward gives a standout performance as Rae Smith. She brings a genuine vulnerability to the character, making the audience sympathize with her plight. Despite her involvement in a destructive relationship, Rae is an independent and strong-willed character who refuses to be defined by her love for Walter. She is a career woman who is proud of her achievements, and her integrity and self-respect are never compromised by her romantic involvement.

John Gavin gives a convincing portrayal of Walter Saxel, a man who is torn between his love for Rae and his sense of obligation to his family. His conflicted emotions are palpable, and he brings a sense of complexity to the character. He is often portrayed as a morally ambiguous figure, but Gavin manages to convey a sense of sympathy for the character despite his wrongdoing.

Vera Miles, in the role of Walter’s wife, also delivers a memorable performance. Although her screen time is limited, she manages to make an impact and convey a sense of dignity and strength in the face of her illness.

The film’s direction by David Miller is competent, and he manages to capture the complexity of the relationships between the characters. The movie’s production design and cinematography are also noteworthy, adding a sense of period authenticity to the film.

In conclusion, Back Street is a powerful, emotionally charged film that tells a compelling story of love and heartbreak. The movie’s excellent performances, direction, and production design make it a must-see for fans of classic romantic dramas.

Back Street
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 47 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (1,273)