Review: ‘City Streets’

Probably the first sophisticated treatment of a gangster picture. Story is the usual love-redeeming tale of two kids caught in a gangster vortex.

Probably the first sophisticated treatment of a gangster picture. Story is the usual love-redeeming tale of two kids caught in a gangster vortex.

Picture is lifted from mediocrity through the intelligent acting and appeal of Sylvia Sidney. This legit girl makes her first screen appearance here as co-star with Gary Cooper. From a histrionic standpoint she’s the whole works, and that’s not detracting from the others who perform ably.

Gang chieftain is shown controlling everything from his henchmen’s women to his sidekicks’ lives. He doesn’t control his own life, though, and a jealous girl sends him low when he tries to shelve her for Babe (Sidney).

Final has Babe and her boy friend (Cooper) make the heights of dececency when they trick three badmen executioners, trailing them, into a long and speedy ride thru the great outdoors.

Camera angles are piled on thick. Most of the time these shots serve to slow up the film and confuse.

City Streets

Production

Paramount. Director Rouben Mamoulian; Producer E. Lloyd Sheldon; Screenplay Oliver H.P. Garrett, Max Marcin; Camera Lee Garmes; Music Sidney Cutner

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1931. Running time: 83 MIN.

With

Gary Cooper Sylvia Sidney Paul Lukas William Boyd Guy Kibbee Stanley Fields
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