09/29/2016  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Image Entertainment presents
Street Scene (1931)

"There's a lot of people that never seem to be happy unless they're making trouble for somebody."
- Mrs. Maurrant (Estelle Taylor)

Review By: Dale Dobson   
Published: October 16, 2000

Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Estelle Taylor, David Landau
Other Stars: William Collier Jr., Russell Hopton, Beulah Bondi
Director: King Vidor

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (ethnic epithets, some violence)
Run Time: 01h:18m:22s
Release Date: September 19, 2000
UPC: 014381905922
Genre: drama


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ B+B-B D-

DVD Review

Street Scene was directed by King Vidor from Elmer Rice's script, adapted from Rice's own Pulitzer Prize-winning play. The film focuses on the ethnically diverse residents of a New York City apartment building, where the lonely Mrs. Maurrant (Estelle Taylor) begins an affair with milk bill collector Mr. Sankey (Russell Hopton). As the nosy neighbors (including Beulah Bondi as Mrs. Jones) gossip and kibitz, daughter Rose (Sylvia Sidney) tries to protect her mother from public disapproval and the wrath of her father (David Landau).

The film's stage origins are obvious here, with nearly all of the action taking place in front of the apartment building—lines are delivered from windows and doorways, exits and entrances are always to the sides or through the building's front door, and intimate scenes are played primarily on the front stairs. Still, the film opens up the environment in significant ways—it begins with a skillful montage of street life, a huge crowd gathers in the street during one dramatic sequence, and King Vidor's camera dollies and zooms with abandon despite some shaky 1930's technology. The performances haven't aged as well as the filmmaking—the strenuously "ethnic" Norwegian, Italian, Yiddish and German accents are almost uniformly unconvincing and occasionally embarrassing, and some of the line readings are stilted and stagey; this is the kind of acting the Stanislavski/Strasberg "Method" rebelled against, and its shortcomings are often in evidence here.

Still, Street Scene retains much of its impact, thanks in no small part to young Sylvia Sidney's sensitive performance as Rose, the teen-aged daughter who must restrain her emotions to do what's best for her family. The film's basic story is one of intolerance and mistrust, but Rose's story is more complex—she must make difficult decisions, and the film bravely retains the play's violence and its mature, bittersweet, decidedly non-pat ending, a major commercial risk at the time (or today, for that matter). The play is not often revived today, presumably due to its "Stereotypes of All Nations" characterizations and the more well-known musical version adapted some fifteen years later by Elmer Rice in collaboration with Kurt Weill and Langston Hughes. This film edition of the original play is therefore doubly important, preserving the play's content (and much of its staging) in a historical context; it's both a compelling narrative and an oddly hope-inspiring reminder of the not-so-long-ago day when Norwegians and Italians just couldn't seem to get along.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Image presents Street Scene in its original 1.33:1 full-frame theatrical aspect ratio. The source print is in middling condition even allowing for the film's 1931 vintage, with almost constant scratches and dirt flecks, several splices and a third reel that's visibly darker than the rest of the film. Still, the DVD transfer is impeccable given the source—every nick and scratch is clearly visible, and the film's gray-scale photography is rich and detailed. As much as it would have been nice to see the film in a restored state, this is quite watchable despite the print's condition.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishno


Audio Transfer Review: Street Scene features an authentic Dolby Digital 1.0 monophonic soundtrack. The film's age shows here, with fairly constant hiss, "buzziness" and low-frequency rumble picked up by the early Western Electric microphones; the print's condition causes a few dropouts as well. Allowing for the source, this presentation is quite solid—dialogue is almost always clear and comprehensible, and the incidental music score conducted by Alfred Newman is evocative if limited in frequency range. I've definitely heard worse audio on films of the 30's, and this track delivers where it counts.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 11 cues and remote access
Packaging: Snapper
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Unfortunately, the Street Scene DVD provides no supplements other than 11 picture-menu chapter stops. Given the age of the film, it's not surprising that no documentary footage or trailers were available; still, it would have been nice to see some textual information on the cast or the original play which inspired the film. Just barely above "F" territory.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

Street Scene holds up remarkably well as a portrait of ethnic conflict and family stress in the New York City of 1931. Image's DVD presentation features no supplements whatsoever, but the digital audio and video are impressive given the age of the film. A little melodramatic and stagey, perhaps, but its point is still valid almost seventy years later.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store