Back Street (1961) Director: David Miller Stars: Susan Hayward, John Gavin, Vera Miles
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Top Customer Reviews
Both actresses had done their best work during the preceding two decades. It was Lana of the tawdry emotions versus hard Hayward of the rat-a-tat Brooklyn delivery always punctuated with a Garlandesque gesture. With films like "Ada", "Stolen Hours" and "Where Love Has Gone", Hayward wins the crown.
"Back Street" is the jewel in this crown. The essential Hayward tearjerker with all the required elements, an impossibly beautiful mannequin of a leading man for her and the audience to project their dreams upon. A truly wicked wife for him to make it almost impossible to denounce Hayward for coming between them, and two throwaway children to soften the tragic end of the film in one final surge of violins and Kleenex. All of this played out in the glamour capitals of New York, Rome and Paris provided by Universal's backlot (and a few lovely locations in Monterey County doubling for the Italian coast). Add to the mix the highly sophisticated costumes of the early 60's and sets of stunning beauty, all strung together to one of the most lyrically beautiful scores ever written for this genre. The result is the glossiest most improbably romantic film of her career that can be taken today in one of two ways, high camp comedy or lush romance. It all depends upon your point of view.Read more ›
This isn't cinematic history folks..it's just a glitzy and moving tearjerker, which will probably stand the test of time.
"I'd Climb the Highest Mountain", "With a Song in My Heart",
"David and Bathsheba", "I'll Cry Tomorrow"...
"Back Street" gives us another dizzying performance by a red head
many of us fell in love with before Lucy (not that I think they
are comparable). The story may be a 3 hanky affair; but just to
see Susan Hayward is a joy that will never grow old. She gives
a brilliant performance. Also, Vera Miles gives a very poised
unsympathetic performance as the wronged wife.
Susan, You were one of my first screen loves and I'll never
forget you and your movies.
Most recent customer reviews
It was alrigh, but don't think I would buy anything like that again.Published 12 months ago by Dawne
I could watch this movie again and again, its one of those classic movies that u can never get enough ofPublished 23 months ago by Nadine
This movie must have arrived in garbage rather than film cans, and via the sewage rather than the postal system. Read morePublished on Dec 27 2003 by R. W. Holliston
John Gavin, the hero of this first-class comedy, wasn't really a hero but a a cad with about as much talent, romance, and emotion as a life-sized cardboard standup, like the ones... Read morePublished on Nov. 23 2002 by J B
This is another great, wonderful, tearful, romantic, tragic love story and is great to watch on a rainy afternoon. Sure it's campy but it's also acting at it's peak by Susan. Read morePublished on Oct. 24 2002 by Rick D. Barszcz
Who can replace Susan Hayward an underrated legend in her time who could play any character with conviction and ease. She even rose above some pretty rotten material. Read morePublished on April 27 2002 by Terry Robertson
When Miss Susan Hayward, bl inking through tear-washed lashes, utters these words by phone upon a lonely Thanksgiving, away from her lover, the great John Gavin, and so loving... Read morePublished on June 24 2001
This is iron-on melodrama with a great turn by Vera Miles as a vindicative priveliged wife. John Gavin could have been replaced by a fire hydrant, and delivered the same... Read morePublished on June 12 2001 by Guy De Federicis