Boyer in Back Street

 

Back Street (1941) was taken from a Fannie Hurst novel, a perennial soaper about a woman who makes sacrifices all her life for the man she loves.

Margaret SullavanWalter Saxel (Boyer) meets Rae Smith (Margaret Sullavan) - the two fall in love and plan to marry immediately. But it is not to be: Rae is kept from their rendezvous by a jealous admirer, and Walter sails out of her life, thinking she had a change of heart.

 

But that is only the beginning. Walter and Rae meet again five years later - he is married and rising fast in the business world; she is a successful clothes designer. They begin a "back street" relationship that lasts until the end of Walter's life, with Rae tucked into a corner...waiting for when he has time to visit her and make proclamations of his undying love. He seems to think that as long as she knows she is an important part of his life, that is sufficient.
A wistful Margaret Sullavan does her best, and Boyer almost makes you forget at times what a selfish rat Walter really is.     No one could play the charming cad better than Boyer.

Boyer and Sullavan

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