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Back Street

Friday, Jan 26, 2024 at 3:00 pm

Location: Bartos Screening Room

The 8:00 p.m. Back Street screens as part of a double feature with Of Human Bondage (7:15 p.m.).

Snubbed: Irene Dunne 

Dir. John M. Stahl. 1932, U.S. 93 mins. 4K DCP. With Irene Dunne, John Boles, George Meeker, ZaSu Pitts, Jane Darwell. This formidable pre-Code tearjerker from melodrama titan Stahl has such a sturdy, forceful narrative spine, adapted from a novel by Fannie Hurst, that it was destined to be remade into studio hits again in both the forties and sixties. But neither is as intensely moving as the 1932 original, which has much to do with the extraordinary performance of the always superb Irene Dunne as turn-of-the-century working-class Cincinnati gal Ray Schmidt, whose search for perfect love rather than financial comfort leads her on the path to disillusionment, setting her on a decades-spanning relationship with an adoring but unavailable—and eventually married—man. Stahl’s delicate, achingly human approach to visual storytelling is matched shot for shot by Dunne’s fragile fortitude. Dunne went unnominated for the film, and somehow, despite being a triple threat as a comedian, singer, and deep-souled dramatic actor, she never won an Academy Award. 

Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / discounted for MoMI members ($7–$11). Order tickets. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission. Review safety protocols before your visit.