STREET SCENE (1931) B/W 80m dir: King Vidor

w/Sylvia Sidney, William Collier Jr., Estelle Taylor, Beulah Bondi, Max Montor, David Landau, Matt McHugh, Russell Hopton, Greta Granstedt, Tom Manning

From The Movie Guide: "Elmer Rice's Pulitzer Prize-winning play [which he adapted for the screen] about the lives and loves of the people who live on a West Side Manhattan street proved to have national appeal under the sure hand of director King Vidor. To insure quality, eight of the original Broadway cast were hired to reprise their roles, including Beulah Bondi, who made her screen debut here and went on to have a long film career. Practically all of the shooting was done on a huge street set. It's summer and the windows are open. The neighborhood people can't bear to stay in their stifling apartments, so the action takes place outside. As the film opens, the big topic of conversation is the love affair between mature woman Estelle Taylor and Russell Hopton, a man who collects for the milk company. Taylor's husband, David Landau, suspicious of Hopton and his wife, is just waiting to catch them. ...

"Featuring excellent acting all around, STREET SCENE moves very quickly, with hardly a wasted word. Although somewhat dated by today's standards, it must be judged by those of the 1930s, when it was a stunning achievement. The play ran for more than two years and is still revived often. An added dimension was composer Alfred Newman's main theme (since used in many films), which ranks, to this day, among the most evocative pieces of music ever written, immediately conjuring up the crowded streets, the hustle, and the oppressive claustrophobia of the Big Apple."