SKU 474

DIE FREUDLOSE GASSE (The Street of Sorrow) (Joyless Street) (1925) *with switchable English subs*

Greta Garbo, Renate Brausewetter, Gregori Chmara and Mario Cusmich, Georg Wilhelm Pabst

In 1921, in the poverty-stricken part of an Austrian town, a street called Melchiorgasse is inhabited by impoverished gentry and blue-collar workers. There are only two wealthy people: the butcher Josef Geiringer and his wife. Mrs. Greifer runs a fashion boutique and a nightclub patronized by the wealthier class of Vienna. Annexed to the nightclub is „Merkl“ hotel, a by-the-hour establishment, in which the women of the nightclub prostitute themselves in order to pay back their debts to Frau Greifer. The film follows the plights of two women from the same neighborhood in their attempts to pull themselves out of the rubble of postwar hyperinflation: Marie, who lives in abject poverty, succumbs to the lure of prostitution. Grete, from a struggling family used to better circumstances, takes the higher road. At the end of the film, a sick and impoverished Else kills the butcher because he won't give her any meat and the poor in the neighborhood, hearing the sounds from the nightclub, begin a stone-throwing revolt against the rich. In the ruckus, the building goes up in flames, killing a pair of beggars. In the end, only Grete seems to have any hope of someday rising out of Melchiorgasse, because of her relationship with an American Red Cross officer.  

DVD-R has German intertitles and switchable English subtitles.  Approx. 140 mins. See film sample for audio and video quality!

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The joyless republic, 4/2/2021 5:28 PM
From: Wolfie
With the exception of a very pretty young Greta Garbo, there really isn't much joy here: corrupt profiteers, scummy landladies, greasy opportunists, women - and men - who will do absolutely ANYTHING to get ahead - or even just some food. A fascinating glimpse into the corpse of what was left after the dismemberment of Austria-Hungary.
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