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Back Street

4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Susan Hayward, John Gavin, Vera Miles, Charles Drake, Virginia Grey
  • Directors: David Miller
  • Writers: Eleanore Griffin, Fannie Hurst, William Ludwig
  • Producers: Ross Hunter
  • Format: NTSC
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Mca (Universal)
  • VHS Release Date: Jan. 20 1993
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 6300183874
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,098 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)
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Product Description

Back Street (1961) Director: David Miller Stars: Susan Hayward, John Gavin, Vera Miles

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I might be old fashion, but I love Susan Hayward in this movie. I used to watch it with my mother and now I would like to get it through Amazon and for now I will have to wait. I know there is no sex like the newer films, but to me it is a classic. John Gavin is so handsome and dashing. I will relax sit back and wait for the tears to come, but feel good when its done.:)
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Format: VHS Tape
As the 1950's came to an end, it seemed as though the genre known as the "tear-jerker" was the sole property of Lana Turner. Having starred in "Portrait in Black" and "Imitation of Life," it was obviously the American movie-going public could not except anyone else in their "weepies." However, Universal gave Susan Hayward a shot with a remake of an earlier work "Back Street." Saddled with contract player John Gavin, a Rock Hudson "clone", Miss Hayward was good as "the other woman" romantically involved with a married man. But, the movie belongs to Vera Miles as the "scorned" wife. She ignites every scene with a bitchiness that rivals anything every filmed. Her Liz Saxon is an alcoholic, an adultress, a poor mother, and a flashy dresser, to boot. The confrontation between Hayward's Rae Smith and Miles' Saxon at a trendy Paris fashion show is a highlight for its over-the-top melodrama that only could've been made by Ross Hunter. They just don't make 'em like that any more! It's our loss.
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Format: VHS Tape
Susan Hayward and Lana Turner battled it out on the screen in the early 1960's for the heavy weight crown of tearstained mink queen of the movies. What was left for an actress over 40 in 1961 but the highly glamorous gloss of a Ross Hunter picture or the grand gargoyle glamour of something like "Baby Jane"? Not much. To be a female movie star of a certain age at that time in Hollywood and to some extent even today meant only one thing, you're Over The Hill baby.
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.
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Format: VHS Tape
Susan Hayward blessed us with so many great film performmances:
"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.
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Format: VHS Tape
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.
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By A Customer on June 24 2001
Format: VHS Tape
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 family, one must truly reach for the tissue box. Back Street by Fanny Brice had been made three times before, but n ever before in the splendor of such magnificent color, gorgeous sets and costumes. The latter worn so capably by the ever beautiful Miss Hayward. How is Hollywood doing without her? An epitome of class and movie stardom. No lover of Old Hollywood and wonderful actors can miss this romance that will take you away from this hard, real world.
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