Precode Era Paper Based On The Street Scenes 1931 Movie Movie Review Examples

Type of paper: Movie Review

Topic: Family, Audience, Public Relations, Women, Movies, Cinema, Street, Wife

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/12/24

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This is a story that takes place in an ordinary building somewhere on the streets of New York in 1931. Those were the times when everybody knew each other by names, and judgmental gossips on lives of others were a common thing. It seems like everybody in the building already knew about the love affair of Mrs. Anna Maurrant and the milkman Steve Sankey, and while nobody was rising this issue up in face, the story developed itself.

Description of main characters:

The main characters are the Maurrant family. There is Mr. Frank Maurrant, a working man who provides for the family, but does not really seem to care about the relationships within it. He is a businessman, who always wears suits and his black hat and often goes for business trips. Mr. Maurrant is very strict to each member of his family. He is unhappy with his children staying out late, and obviously he does not have any interest in his wife’s personal opinion. Frank is not trying to be a good neighbor, when almost starts a fight with one of them. He is a moody and unsocial man, who has a tendency to go to bars from time to time. Somehow the audience gets an opinion that Mr. Maurrat can be cruel and dangerous, when in a bad mood.
There is Mrs. Anna Maurrant and her strong feeling of loneliness as well as the search of “what is there from life” (Street Scenes, 1931). She is a beautiful woman of her age, who has never been truly loved. She is trying to be a good mother to her kids and a good neighbor to the people next door. She was the one to take care after a newborn child and its’ mother upstairs. It seems like she does not need much to be happy, but to have “someone to talk to once in a while” (Street Scenes, 1931) and to leave in peace, although at the same time she is always worried about something in her thoughts.

Plot description:

One hot summer evening the three women were shearing gossips about their neighbor Mrs. Maurrant and the milkman. Emma Jones was the spleeniest character between them. She was a leader in every discussion, and when one was not present she would make sure to create it. She was convinced that she knew the difference between right and wrong, and she was always confident in her righteous judgments. The audience could be irritated by her presence and comments, as any person would be if he was the one to be discussed, but at the same time we could not disagree with her words. Mrs. Emma Jones represented an uncovered voice of morality and common sense of those times.
As the discussion went on we could hear Mrs. Maurrant stated her point that it was necessary for a person to hear a good word from time to time and that marriage must not make a couple miserable. That line helped the audience to understand her character better. Again Mrs. Jones shared her wisdom that “You get married for better or the worst. And if it turns to be worst, all you can do is to make the best out of it.” (Street Scenes, 1931), which also brings the audience to the very moral thought of marriage issues.
In the next episode all the neighbors were returning to their home. They were sitting outside of the building, eating ice-cream that a cheerful Mr. Flippo Fiorentino had treated them with and talked. You would not suspect the horrible thing was going to happen soon.
The next morning Mr. Maurrant told his wife that he was going on a business trip and would be out of the city for a while. Mrs. Maurrant was not waiting for long and invited Mr. Sankey to come over. Suddenly Frank was coming back and noticed the closed curtains. Sam wanted to stop him, but Mr. Maurrant went crazy, he suspected his wife was cheating on him right there, so he pushed Sam and run up the stairs to his apartment. The audience heard two shots and saw the two men fighting next to the window of Maurrants’ apartment, when Mr. Sankey was trying to escape through the window. There was another shot, and we understood, that Steve would not ever get up again. Frank had just killed a man and fatally wounded his wife. We could see the police caught Mr. Maurrant. He was being lead through the crowd, his daughter Rose came up to him, so Frank apologized for being so impulsive and leaving Rose to take care of herself and her little brother. Rose was again being offered help from her boss, but she refused to accept it. She had learned her mothers’ lesson. Sam suggested going with her wherever she wants to and to be together from now on, but Rose told him no as well. She wanted them both to have some time separate to understand what was there that they really want. And so she walked down the street alone carrying her bag and looking for her own life.

Cinematic style issues:

It all started on a hot summer evening. Kids were splashing on the streets, ice was being broken, pets were looking for some cold, and people were stuck next to their windows. It seemed like everything was melting. Obviously, this was made by the director to emit the heat that can easily drive you crazy, and to make sure, that the audience had already started to empathize the actors.
You can easily notice that the movie is based on a theatrical play. First of all it was mostly the same scene that was shown to the audience; it was always a next to the building view. The actors interacted with each other from their windows and felt free to walk out of it to join the conversation. This way of movie presentation was a winning strategy for its director King Vidor. Firstly, it was less sophisticated to be filmed since no cameras were pushed into apartments. Secondly, the view from the street had always been keeping the scene alive with the presence of passing characters and a possibility that everything could happen.
The director had used one main scene for all the actions to be taken place at. He used general plan when filming the interactions between neighbors, but preferred to use close-up for the dialogues of main characters. That helped the audience to distinguish the main heroes and to gain trust and sympathy to their problems.
The movie also suggested the audience to soak the atmosphere of the street. Director gave us an opportunity to peer into the regular life of people in the city. We were shown the scenes of how the day starts in New York. The newspapers were being delivered and the neighbors were about to start their day with their duties. Some were busy doing their morning exercise, some were shaving next to the window and some were taking care of their kids, or were just coming home after a long night. That attitude added to the Street Scenes a piece of romance, because it created a strong believe that every character mentioned really existed, he was unique and had his own story to share.
Music used in the movie, had always fitted the picture on the screen and only made it easier for the audience to imbue with the plot.

Problems raised in the movie:

Despite the main topic of a love triangle, the Steer Scenes brings up a lot of life and existence society almost eternal questions. There is a religion and Darwin argument between the neighbors, who have a right to choose their own beliefs. There is a problem of a mother and a child communication, when the son of Mrs. Maurrant shows a clear disrespect to his mother. The question of communication incomprehension between the married couple is also raised. Mr. and Mrs. Maurrant is a couple, who has completely forgotten that they should love each other first, and now they only interact due to the necessity. The topic of getting a degree and finishing your education is very vivid, when Sam is willing to leave everything to be with Rose, and his sister is asking Rose to understand the importance of education and the bright future that it will bring to Sam. There is an Italian man, who is not able to share the happiness of parenthood with his wife, and a completely frustrated Mr. Buchanan, whose wife is about to give a birth to their first child within the next few hours. You can also notice the contrast between the characters paying attention to their different origins. There are at least two not American nationalities mentioned: Italian man Mr. Flippo Fiorentino and Slovenian woman Mrs. Olga Olsen. These two characters slightly show the rhythm of New York by their presence in the movie and represent the general cultural mixes of those times.

The code issues in the movie:

Street Scenes is a drama movie of a pre code era. I would like to mention several situations where the code was violated. First of all the general line of a love triangle of Mrs. and Mr. Maurrant and the third party Mr. Sankey needs a careful handling. Mr. Sankey was married himself, so the marriage sanctity as well as the sanctity of the home, and sex morality was imperiled at least from both of their sides.
The second example of breaking the code in this movie is the alcohol abuse. It is clearly stated in the code that the use of alcohol must be moderate; however the couple, who was walking on the street at night, was only drinking to have fun and had been acting very loud and inappropriate due to the excessive use of liquor.
The third issue to be mentioned is the revenge of a husband Mr. Maurrant. He took justice in his own hands when decided to shoot his wife and her lover in the middle of the day. The code forbids revenge killings since that is an immoral act against the sacredness of human life, when moral solution to this situation would be taking his wife to court.
Gun shooting would be the fourth subject for our judgment of code violation. The first three shots we heard were considered to be necessary for the plot, so the audience could feel the culmination and was shocked by the actions of the main character. We understood that it is needed in order for the audience to distinguish the wrong action of Mr. Maurrant. But the movie takes it farther, and before Frank was caught by policemen, we had heard five more shots that were only used to show the explicit danger to the audience.
The next code violation was presented to us by children, who were singing a cheerful song about the murder right after it has happened. The song was about how the father killed the wife, because she had been cheating on him with a milkman. That could be considered as a playful conclusion for the entire movie, but the code requests no jokes on murder to be presented.
Still there were some certain actions that were done properly and with all the respect to the code, which I would like to mention. First of all it was clearly shown to the audience that evil was evil and wrong was wrong. We could empathize to Mrs. Maurrant, but did not forget that her behavioral was wrong. Also the unacceptable for the moral society behavioral of a local bully, who was trying to fight Sam and kiss Rose against her will, was shown as a completely inappropriate. The audience did not want to be that kind of person and felt direct antipathy to this character. At last all the kissing scenes were made properly. They did not last long, no passionate kissing was present, and all poses of actors, when kissing, were appropriate and were not deliberately meant to excite these manifestations on the part of the audience.

Works Cited

Film. Retrieved from

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WePapers. (2020, December, 24) Precode Era Paper Based On The Street Scenes 1931 Movie Movie Review Examples. Retrieved May 16, 2021, from
"Precode Era Paper Based On The Street Scenes 1931 Movie Movie Review Examples." WePapers, 24 Dec. 2020, Accessed 16 May 2021.
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"Precode Era Paper Based On The Street Scenes 1931 Movie Movie Review Examples." WePapers, Dec 24, 2020. Accessed May 16, 2021.
WePapers. 2020. "Precode Era Paper Based On The Street Scenes 1931 Movie Movie Review Examples." Free Essay Examples - Retrieved May 16, 2021. (
"Precode Era Paper Based On The Street Scenes 1931 Movie Movie Review Examples," Free Essay Examples -, 24-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 16-May-2021].
Precode Era Paper Based On The Street Scenes 1931 Movie Movie Review Examples. Free Essay Examples - Published Dec 24, 2020. Accessed May 16, 2021.

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