- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Street Scene-an American classic
- Barry Ernst
It gives us a view into life in tenement NYC in the 1930's. To so many of us that's our roots. It doesn't paint an inflated picture or a bad picture of the inhabitants. It's not one sided there is pettiness, prejudice but also a camaraderie and love. The movie based on the play is a melodrama with stereotypes but that is the what audiences expected and how pictures were made. Much of the play despite the great intro with shots of the city was in front of the apartment building like the play. I thought it was slow but that changed as the story developed esp at the end. The acting was superb maybe even better than the directing. My favorite scene was between Sylvia Sidney as Rose confronted her father played by David Landau after he was apprehended by the cops for the double homicide. Killing his wife and her alleged lover. The father, Frank who had been always angry and mean in that scene changed completely. He was moral, felt very guilty, tried to explain himself when she asked him why he did it (and with no excuses or blaming anyone else) concerned about his daughter and gentle with her which he hadn't shown before. She clung to him even though he had just murdered her mother. It's an American classic.
- kevin sellers
The first in a long line of fine films about NYC in the sweltering summer, as tensions ratchet up. If it is not quite on the level of others in this sub genre, such as "Do The Right Thing" and "Dog Day Afternoon", maybe it's because King Vidor's expressive, timeless direction (i.e. the great long tracking shot of tenement dwellers waking up after a hot night, the gripping sequence of the killing of Mrs. Maurrant and her lover by her deranged husband and its chaotic aftermath) keeps getting brought down to earth by Elmer Rice's prosaic, heavy handed, faux Odetsian screenplay. And some of the performances, like Estelle Taylor as the murdered wife and William Collier as a sensitive, idealistic student, are a bit (and in Collier's case more than a bit) over wrought. However, there is good work from Sylvia Sydney, David Landau as the dour, abusive Mr. Maurrant, and especially Beulah Bondi, playing a coarse, opinionated Irishwoman, to make up for it. Give it an A minus.
I loved this film but when you showed it on September 25, 2013, entire moved was not shown.Please, show this film in its entirety again!
Street Scene (1931)
- Mr. Blandings
Great camerawork and good performances by Sylvia Sidney and Beulah Bondi highlight this film, which was quite cutting edge and experimental for its time. The musical score at the start and the end of the film seems out of place and inappropriately cheery, however.
"Makin' whoopee with the milkman"
- Jeff Boston
I loved that line from the actor who played the Italian man, who reminded me of many a Dunkin' Donuts commercial in the 1970's. The whoopeeing wife was played by the then wife of boxing legend Jack Dempsey. I wonder what he would have done to her?! In "Street Scene" Beulah Bondi stole every scene she was in and I'm sure Sylvia Sidney stole many hearts (good review Jarrod McDonald). Recently, thanks to TCM, I saw both star in classics released six years after this timeless tale set in a tenement: Bondi in "Make Way For Tomorrow" and Sidney in "Dead End."
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A powerful folk opera was made out of the play this movie was based on. Kurt Weil (THREEPENNY OPERA, ONE TOUCH OF VENUS) wrote the music and Langston Hughes (the great African American poet) wrote the words. It's available on DVD and CD. It's a beautiful score mixing opera, pop, Broadway and jazz.
- Eugene Gant
I happened upon this movie while scanning the tv guide and while I didn't recognize the title, saw that it was rated 3.5 stars and decided to give it a shot. It started a little slowly but after a few minutes I was engrossed. It is much grittier than would have been permitted a few years later and realistically portrays an early-depression New York tenement. There are a couple of rough spots in this restoration but they did not detract from the film. Unfortunately, I had to leave 20 minutes before the end. Please show this again TCM!
- Julie Baram
This is such a good movie. Unfortunately for me, I caught the movie after it had started. I would love to see it again from the beginning. I am a fan of Sylvia Sydney.
Directed by King Vidor
- Jarrod McDonald
This film should definitely be remade. The print TCM aired has not been very well preserved. The performances are great (because most of the actors played these scenes countless times on Broadway). Of the cast, Beulah Bondi is best and Sylvia Sidney isn't bad. It's a bit stagey in the beginning, but director King Vidor starts to open it up when we see the daughter Rose come home with the married coworker. It really opens up after the shooting. That's when Vidor makes it really cinematic. The reaction shots of the double homicide played like a silent film sequence; it was interesting (though it might seem corny by modern standards). The overflowing of onlookers and the repeat hysteria when the husband was apprehended made it suspenseful.
- J Rust
Great movie. Need to see it again to catch all the pitchy comments from convincing characters. Most enjoyable is a realistic portrayal of 1931 tenament life and the misguided, prejudiced interaction between families of different ethnic background. This poignant story kept me spellbound and entertained because of the humorous edge delicately maintained in the dialog. Ultimately the message of hope for a better tomorrow prevails as families begin to understand each other through adversity. A very uplifting movie with a sense of history with lessons for today's society.
As Vital As "Our Town", Perhaps More So
- Martha Trowbridge
"Street Scene" is as vital to American Film History as "Our Town", perhaps more so, to those who were raised in cities in the early to mid 20th century. The clash of ethniticies is masterfully neutralized by the commonality of mores, and pinings.Exquisite in its realism "Street Scene" is powerful, engaging, nostalgic. Wonderfully performed. A perfect gem.Please place this on your DVD-creation list.
Life in the tenaments
- C H Scott
Outstanding film depicting life in the tenaments in the 30s. Perhaps the same exists today.
"Street Scene" is best the movie I've ever seen!
- sheila collins
One, sleepless, Saturday morning (3AM) I happened upon this movie. It must have been sometime in the mid-80's. I have never been so been taken with a movie before in my life. My only regret is that I've not been able to see this awesome movie again ( or find out how I can see it). Sylvia Sidney is fabulous! This movie is a realistic look at NYC life during the depression (1931). It's heartbreaking that this wonderful movie can't be seen on TCM. I would highly recommend this movie (if you can find out how to view it). It is unique and touching at its core.