Tragedy of the Street

6.6
1927
Before road movies there were street films, a distinct cycle within German silent cinema. The essential ingredient - misalliance between bourgeois and slum dweller - is present here, though somewhat displaced by Asta Nielsen's star persona. She plays an aging hooker who falls for handsome Felix, a student who has rowed with his parents and ventured into the lower depths. Dreaming of a new life, she ejects her pimp and invests her savings in a cake shop. Even without that title, though, you wouldn't bet on a happy ending. Nielsen is a quite restrained sort of diva, and Rahn likewise soft pedals the melodrama, except for the grand finale. He died soon after making this, his contemporaries regretting the masterworks the cinema was thus denied. Well, maybe.
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