10/31/2014  
Heart & Friends - Home For The Holidays on CD/DVD Nov 10Reno 911!: The Complete Series on DVD Nov 4Merlin: The Complete Series on DVD & Blu-ray Nov 4Maleficent on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Nov 4My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 28Cook's Country: Season 7 on DVD Oct 28Zombie Hood VOD & Limited Edition DVD Oct 21

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Heart & Friends - Home For The Holidays on CD/DVD Nov 1...
Reno 911!: The Complete Series on DVD Nov 4...
Merlin: The Complete Series on DVD & Blu-ray Nov 4...
Jay and Bey get 'royal' treatment at 'Nightcrawler' pre...
Maleficent on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Nov 4...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
CRYSTAL FAIRY & THE MAGICAL CACTUS (BLU-RAY)...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...
BARACK OBAMA: FROM HIS CHILDHOOD TO THE PRESIDENCY...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

MZ Mark Zimmer

STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...
STORAGE WARS: SEASON ONE...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

RR Rich Rosell

LES VAMPIRES (BLU-RAY)...
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: FULL SEQUENCE (BLU-RAY)...
EXORCISMUS...
THE DEVIL'S ROCK...
THE NESTING...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
Star Trek: The Motion Picture...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

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

music, comedy, fantasy, celebrity, jay z, byonce, amc loews lincoln square, nightcrawler, jake gyllenhaal, rene russo, animation, kids, television, reading rainbow, lavar burton, kickstarter, seth macfarlane, family guy, movies, ouija, keanu reeves, john wick, fury, brad pitt, gone girl, box office, cooking, cream, jack bruce, eric clapton, ginger baker, sunshine of your love, holiday, movie, birdman, michael keaton, edward norton, alejandro ganzalez inarritu, babel, 21 grams, biutiful, emma stone, zach galifianakis, comedy-drama, crime, thriller, renee zellweger, kathie lee gifford, nicole wallace, surgery question, foo fighters, wrigley field show, chicago, sonic highways, hbo series, mystery, world war ii, logan lerman, shia lebeouf, jon bernthal, michael pena, war, documentary, warner bros, 10 super hero movies, jason mormoa, aquaman, ezra miller, the flash, batman v superman: dawn of justice, internet, cbs all access, $5.99, hbo, web-delivered television, oscars, neil patrick harris, host, the academy of motion pictures arts and sciences, tonys emmys, abc, out of the woods, good morning america, 1989, jack antonoff, bleachers, yamaha dx7, minimoog voyager

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Snappy Planet

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