Back Street

The second (of three) Universal adaptations of Fannie Hurst’s turn-of-the-19th-century-set novel stars Margaret Sullavan and Charles Boyer (possessors of two of the best voices in classic Hollywood: she with her musical rasp, he with his luxuriantly accented baritone) as adulterous lovers whose brief encounter stretches into a decades-long affair, with her forever living in the shadows as the “other woman.” One of the few films made under the Production Code to deal sympathetically with marital infidelity, this elegant tearjerker overflows with dreamily romantic moments: the couple lounging under a cloud-filled sky, a chance meeting on a snow-shrouded New York sidewalk, and the quietly devastating liebestod of the climax.

Playing on December 13 & 19 in 35mm.