Best of… Series – 1928 – Street Angel

Street Angel (Frank Borzage, 1928)

Borzage continues to reel me into his films and leave me with a melted, yet satisfied heart. Street Angel is the best, and most focused, love story I’ve seen from him yet. First, though, is there is a better acting pair out there than Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell? These two have the best chemistry I’ve ever seen on film. Their innocence is endlessly gushing. Their interactions are natural and sweet. These two now define silent acting to me. (And it’s funny because I’ve only seen them together in two films.)

With Street Angel, Borzage takes a love story ala 7th Heaven, and carries it throughout the entire film. Nothing distracts from it. The two suffer their fair share of heartbreak, but nothing that isn’t self-inflicted. In fact, it’s so self-inflicted, it could have been avoided. (I can’t decide if this is a flaw in the writing, or actually a testament to just how painfully real it is.) There are a few flaws: When the two first come together, Gaynor’s character is against the idea of love (but for no reason other than to extend their courtship), and some of the inter-titles are extremely corny. Still, overall, another great one.  10/10

EDIT: After a re-watch, the flaws don’t bother me anymore, and I definitely think the fact that their heartbreak is self-inflicted is actually a testament to how flawed and foggy-minded people can be at times (Oh, and Borzage uses a lot of fog in this movie too. See what I did there?)

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2 Responses to “Best of… Series – 1928 – Street Angel”

  1. jackskelliez Says:

    Wowo – sounds fantastic – and Netflix actually has it – score!

    • chrisfilm Says:

      It’s even better than what I wrote here. I gave it 8.75 then wrote this. Then I saw it again and all its flaws didn’t bother me anymore. Now I love it.

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