9 August 2011 | xerses13
Well Done Melodrama...
SIDE STREETS (1934) comes in at the edge before the Hollywood Production 'Code' put the brakes on sexual situations and film creativity. Only Cecil B. DeMille continued to get away with it, wrapping his films in either pseudo patriotic or religious fervor.
This quick told story (63") is about a Women (Aline MacMahon) yearning for love and companionship. Finding it in a Man (Paul Kelly) a failure at his chosen profession as a seaman, who has a wandering eye, but in the end learns the importance of what his Wife has to offer. The film addresses frankly the problems of marriage, loss (their Baby dies) and adultery. In one scene, obviously pre-code, Kelly and MacMahon are shown in the same bed together under the covers. A real 'No-No' back then! MacMahon in several scenes shows a sensitivity that is heart-breaking.
Both Kelly and MacMahon would have long film careers as well as making their mark on the Broadway Stage. They make a attractive and believable couple, nothing phony here. The rest of the supporting cast is effective. Particularly Ann Dvorak, one of Kelly's dalliances. This attractive, slim Actress is barely known today and most of her films are unseen. Take advantage of her when you can, especially her pre-code films, they are well worth watching!