Okay, folks...clearly this movie was made for another time, another decade, another life....it's 1961, and Ross Hunter has churned out these weepers for years now. The audiences wanted a love affair that appeared "heavenly," "bad," etc. Sure John Gavin is a cad..he never bothers to tell Susan Hayward that he's married and has two children. Sure, Vera Miles is the ultimate bitch---cold, calculating, unloving, and an alcoholic to boot. Sure Gavin should get a divorce in spite of Miles' threats. Sure the kids are hokey and unconvincing actors. Too many gowns, too many starry eyed I love yous...but isn't this what movies like BACK STREET are all about. No matter what, one can't deny the tissue factor when hunky Gavin lies dying in his bed, and when the children ask if they can visit Rae.
This isn't cinematic history folks..it's just a glitzy and moving tearjerker, which will probably stand the test of time.