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Top Customer Reviews
Long before the Neorrealistic Movement began in Italy, Samuel Goldwyn produced this great picture which depicts the miseries and hardships of a group of working class characters, directed with skill, intelligence and in a very "naturalistic" way, by master director King Vidor, who excelled in this kind of films, dealing with social issues ("The Big Parade" (1925), "The Crowd" (1928), "Hallelujah" (1929) and "Our Daily Bread" (1934)).
Sylvia Sidney is magnificent and displays great acting skill in the role of a working girl; she looks pretty, charming, "petite", naive, conveying all the frailty and helplessness her character requires. William Collier Jr. portrays convincingly an idealistic young jewish College-educated lad, who is in love with Sidney's character.
Beulah Bondi is great as well, as a gossipy, mean, bitter woman who's married to a drunken, no-good man. Estelle Taylor is efficient as the basically nice, doomed, adulterous mother of Sylvia Sidney's character. Also in a cast full of stage actors, character player John Qualen, interprets very well a Scandinavian immigrant who works as the janitor of the building in which the events take place.
Great landmark score by legendary composer Alfred Newman, which is reminiscent of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue". Great camerawork for a movie that was filmed during the first years of Sound Pictures, when films were usually stagey and static.
The transfer is far from perfect but, in my opinion, is decent, considering the age of the film.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sylvia Sydney's best. A real oldie but it holds up. If you grew up in the City, you'll appreciate it even more.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is an important movie for everyone to see -- some of what happens is timeless, but how things are dealt with back then was quite interesting to see. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Anita Swillinger
Excellent film which honestly depicts the way things were in 1931 urban America. Some of the attitudes shown and things said in this movie would never be allowed today.Published on June 30, 2014 by Tim Blue
Story about N.Y. tenements with Sylvia Sidney and Beulah Bondi. Sometimes very realistic, sometimes corny. Read morePublished on May 24, 2014 by LostinGermany
This is such a mesmerizing movie. Everything takes place right there on the stoop so you know it has to be good acting in order for this to work. All of the actors are awesome. Read morePublished on February 16, 2014 by New York Gal
There is just one scene for the entirety of the film - the front of a brownstone tenement in New York City during the summer. Read morePublished on December 6, 2009 by calvinnme
rare and excellent film. Seems out of print now, which is a shame. Shipeed rapidly and in good shape.Published on January 25, 2009 by Vinaver
The stifling oppression of poverty and the tragedy born from it is the subject of this mature film from King Vidor. Read morePublished on May 2, 2006 by Bobby Underwood