Synopsis by Hal Erickson
This third film version of the lachrymose Fannie Hurst novel Back Street stars Susan Hayward as Rae Smith the role previously essayed by Irene Dunne (in 1932) and Margaret Sullavan (in 1941). In both earlier films, Rae Smith sacrifices 28 years of her life to her married lover, who can never get a divorce and who compels Rae to squirrel herself away in a shabby back-street apartment. In contrast, Susan Hayward's Rae Smith is a fiercely independent fashion designer, whose fidelity to the very married John Gavin doesn't retard her livelihood in the least. Vera Miles makes a meal of her supporting role as Gavin's shrewish, alcoholic wife. Though cinematographer Stanley Cortez does his utmost, he can't completely hide the fact that Hayward is at least ten years older than her costars, making her seem more of a doting aunt than the "other woman" (the film might have been more effective had Hayward and Miles switched roles). Its plot inconsistencies and logic lapses notwithstanding, Back Street proved to be another hit for producer Ross Hunter.
star-crossed-lovers, fashion-designer, mistress, forbidden, alcoholism