BACK STREET (1941) B/W 89m dir: Robert Stevenson
w/Charles Boyer, Margaret Sullavan, Richard Carlson, Frank McHugh, Tim Holt, Frank Jenks, Esther Dale, Samuel S. Hinds, Peggy Stewart, Nell O'Day
Incandescent lead performances elevate this soap opera about a married man and his "back street" wife.
From The Movie Guide: "This restrained, luminous version of Fanny Hurst's oft-filmed saga is easily the best. BACK STREET's success is largely due to the tragic nobility Boyer and Sullavan invest this story of a woman who remains devoted to a married man. In real life, both actors' fates had the same elements of sad inevitibility [sic]: Boyer and Sullavan died from barbiturate overdoses that were self-inflicted; Boyer in a depression after his wife passed away and Sullavan as a result of her frustration with increasing deafness. Her complicated nature and tempestuous life was [sic] chronicled by her daughter [Brooke Hayward] in the book, Haywire. Sullavan's first three husbands were Henry Fonda, William Wyler, and Leland Hayward."