Back Street (1932) - Rotten Tomatoes

Back Street (1932)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Back Street Photos

Movie Info

Based on a best-selling novel by Fannie Hurst, Back Street concerns an ill-starred couple, Rae (Irene Dunne) and Walter (John Boles). Rae meets Walter and falls hopelessly in love with him; Walter is also drawn to Rae, but he has already pledged to marry another woman and can't find a way out. They part, and for a while Rae takes up with someone else; Walter needs to leave the country and impulsively tries to arrange a marriage with Rae, but she is unable, due to her new beau, and he sails away without her. When Rae next encounters Walter, he has married a woman from a wealthy family. Even though he's wedded to another, a passion still burns between Walter and Rae, and they enter into an illicit affair. Over the course of nearly 30 years, Rae turns down opportunities to marry other men to live a shadowy life as Walter's mistress, until she accepts a proposal of marriage when she's convinced that Walter is finally through with her. This was the first of three film versions of Hurst's story; remakes were released in 1941 and 1961.


Irene Dunne
as Ray Schmidt
John Boles
as Walter D. Saxel
George Meeker
as Kurt Shendler
June Clyde
as Freda Schmidt
Zasu Pitts
as Mrs. Dole
Shirley Grey
as Francine
Doris Lloyd
as Mrs. Saxel
Maude Turner Gordon
as Mrs. Saxel Sr.
James Donlan
as Prothero
Paul Weigel
as Mr. Schmidt
Jane Darwell
as Mrs. Schmidt
Robert McWade
as Uncle Felix
View All

Critic Reviews for Back Street

All Critics (2) | Top Critics (1)

Stahl's tensely restrained images match the vast range of expression that Dunne conveys in rapt stillness.

December 20, 2021 | Full Review…

This version of Fannie Hurst's potboiler is an extremely well acted melodrama

January 2, 2011 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews

There are no featured reviews for Back Street at this time.

Back Street Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features