Street Angel is one of my absolute favorite silent movies. It's one of the first ones I ever saw, and I just fell in love with it. It stars dynamic duo Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell - a duo so dynamic that they starred in TEN films together! This was one of the first, and watching it you can see why people just couldn't get enough of them. It's a sweet love story in which Gaynor plays a down n out girl in Naples who briefly turns to prostitution and stealing to buy medicine for her sick mother and gets caught. She runs away to join a circus and meets Farrell, a painter. They return to Naples to eke out a living until she is found by the police again the night before their wedding. It's a really sad, sweet movie, and so lovely.
When she isn't wearing tattered 20s day dresses, she is wearing cute little circus outfits that are fun to look at. I also love the ribbon she wears in her hair as a headband/bow, and I think this (along with Carroll Baker in Babydoll- another FAVORITE I will write about later!) inspired me to wear my hair this way for a long time.
Janet Gaynor's acting is so so great in this movie, and she won the FIRST academy award for best actress in 1928 for, amazingly, Street Angel, Sunrise, AND Seventh Heaven. Isn't that incredible?? Not only was she the youngest actress to receive an oscar all the way up until 1986 (she was 22), it is to this day the ONLY time an actress won for multiple roles in one year. Sunrise and Seventh Heaven are both amazing as well, by the way, but my favorite is Street Angel! Please watch it; I know you will fall in love with it!
|from silents to talkies, dynamic duo on the cover of film weekly 1932|