Saturday, May 7, 2011

Street Angel (1928)

A woman on the run from the law finds her past catching up to her just as she is on the verge of true happiness. [imdb]

Nominated for 3 (1+2) Oscars:

Best Actress: Janet Gaynor (for 1928) (WINNER)
Best Cinematography (for 1929)
Best Art Direction (for 1929)

I'm looking at the official poster on the right: the girl there looks nothing like Janet Gaynor :)) oh, Hollywood, using "photoshop" even back then. :) Getting back to the film: this is of course one of the 3 films for which Janet collectively won Best Actress in Oscar's first edition. I have no idea why the film was also nominated for 2 categories in the following year, but those mentionings are worthy.

The cinematography and the art direction are both quite interesting, especially the set decoration which is efficiently used to tell the story. Frank Borzage also directed the big hit of 1928: 7th Heaven - also starring Janet, and I'm very anxious to see that one. Street Angel makes for no big breakthrough in silent films and it's mostly carried by Miss Gaynor lovely emotional performance and the incredible use of music, with a very distinctive main theme. The story could've been worse, but it's really her charm that makes the film a bit more believable and attractive to the audience.

My rating for the film: 6.5/10. Its biggest problem is the general misogynistic tone of the story.

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