Back Street. 1932. USA. Directed by John M. Stahl. 93 min.
The first of three Universal adaptations of Fanny Hurst’s bestselling novel, and by far the best, John Stahl’s expert melodrama stars Irene Dunne as a woman who allows herself to be “kept” by a financier (John Boles). Their affair continues over a period of 30 years, despite her efforts to find a life of her own, until she is finally confronted by her lover’s adult son. Production Code enforcer Joseph Breen denied approval for a 1938 reissue, claiming that the film “has become a symbol of the wrong kind of picture.”