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Back Street (Vintage Movie Classics)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  36 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Ray Schimdt was a young woman of style, grace and feminine charm. At eighteen, she met Water Saxel and knew with finality that she could never deny him.

If she had kept their appointment that fateful Sunday morning, would it have changed anything? Would she have become his wife in spite of their different backgrounds? Or had she always been destined to be only his mistress?
Mass Market Paperback, 441 pages
Published 1961 by Pocket Books (first published 1931)
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(showing 1-30 of 116)
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such a very sad life!
A train-wreck of a book. I'm actually surprised to see a fair amount of recent readers who are enthusiastic about it, because I would think its premise, about a woman who puts her entire life on-hold to be available as mistress to a married man, would be unacceptable today, especially a married man who'd be recognized today as a control freak (his favorite word is "I").

F. Scott Fitzgerald considered Fannie Hurst to be one of several authors "not producing among 'em one story or novel that will l
I have yet to see the film, I am not sure if I want to (I do). The book is a fab. melodrama set in the years of America and Europe 1849-1930 a "Fly Girl" Ray Schmidt falls for a Jewish Man she meets at a rail station. Impossible for any chance to marry; Ray become his lover, a lifetime follows these two. His Jewish wife and children, his success. All this time, Ray is kept, with no income other than the dollars he leaves in the Bisque figurine on the table. His sudden death leaves Ray elderly an ...more
Few of the films made from Miss Hurst's novels are really true to them, especially the later ones like 1961's Back Street, but the source novel is quite captivating. Perhaps it's because I'm from Cincinnati and that 's where the story is set (at first, anyway), but the reader is drawn into the mindset of the heroine and, despite what would now seem to be ridiculous behavior, endures endless stress and torment right along with her. A fascinating glimpse into the past, thanks to the details of the ...more
Christine Sinclair
Pot-boiler? Yes. Soap opera? Yes. But Back Street is so well-written and emotionally gripping that it rises above its genre. The main character, a Miss Ray Schmidt, makes many bad decisions in this story, yet she remains a sympathetic and human character to the end. (Warning: There is a gratuitous violent and gory scene toward the end which should have been left out, or done quite differently. Shockingly crueler than the rest of the story.) I want to see all three movie versions of it to compare ...more
Interesting, surprising story of a nice, Midwestern girl who becomes a kept woman. Her lover, a respectable public figure with a wife and family, remains the one love of her life. She is depicted as a good, loyal person who tragically gives up her life to someone who doesn't appreciate her. She was a doormat, but it was still a sympathetic portrayal and very modern moral sensibilities considering this book is from 1931 and set even earlier.
Martie Nees Record
The only thing that this very well written novel had in common with the old Susan Hayward movie was the title and that the main character was a mistress to a married man. I remember the movie being a sappy tearjerker, the novel was so well written with a incredible view of what the world of NYC, especially for women, was like in 1930 when the book was written. So good!
This is an interesting book about a woman who is the mistress of a Jewish man. It is filled with odd old expressions. More on
Another book that was better than the movie...much better. A fascinating study of two people in love who could not marry.
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Fannie Hurst was born in Ohio, grew up in St. Louis and spent her adult life in New York City. She is the author of 17 novels and more than 250 short stories, as well as plays, screenplays, memoirs, essays and articles. Her best-remembered works are those turned into films, including: Imitation of Life, Back Street, Humoresque, The Younger Generation, and Young at Heart. She was active in a variet ...more
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