Dans les rues (1933)
aka: Song of the Streets
A film directed by Victor Trivas

Genre: Crime / Drama


Dans les rues photo
Jacques is the wayward son of a poor war widow. Unable to find work, he falls in with a gang of delinquents who terrorise householders and shopkeepers in their neighbourhood. Despite his rebellious nature and the fact that he fails to get on with his more disciplined older brother, Jacques remains the apple of his mother's eye. But Jacques seems destined for a life of crime and penury amidst the lowlife of Paris. Even the love of Rosalie, the daughter of the local junk dealer, cannot save him...
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Film Review

With its starkly realist portrayal of juvenile delinquency and deprivation between the wars, Dans les rues is a poignant social drama which bears some similarity with William A. Wellman's Wild Boys of the Road, released the same year. What is immediately striking about this film is its trenchant realism, achieved through the use of natural locations and various inserts depicting everyday life as lived by most ordinary Parisians in the early 1930s, making this an invaluable visual record of the period. The film presages the poetic realist style that would have a significant impact on French cinema in the mid to late 1930s, and even has some thematic and textual elements of what we would now term film noir.

The film was directed by Victor Trivas, a Russian émigré who began his filmmaking career in Germany. He hastily moved to France after his provocative anti-war film Niemandsland (1931) was banned by the Nazis. Dans les rues was one of two films Trivas made in France - the other being Tovarich (1935). He would subsequently find work in Hollywood, contributing to screenplays for such films as Orson Welles' The Stranger (1946) and Otto Preminger's Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950). Another significant name on the list of credits is Rudolph Maté, the legendary cinematographer who had previously distinguished himself on Carl Theodor Dreyer's La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc (1928) and Vampyr (1932).
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If you like Dans les rues you may also like: L'Étrange Monsieur Victor (1937), Crime and Punishment (1923), That Night's Wife (1930) and Thunderbolt (1929).
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