Twenty-four hours elapse on the stoop of a Hell’s Kitchen tenement as a microcosm of the American melting pot interacts with each other during a summer heatwave.
As the temperature rises, a husband’s violent reaction to his cheating spouse becomes the talk of the neighborhood in this underrated Vidor effort.
Sylvia Sidney, a native New Yorker, makes a lasting impression as Rose despite having just a few movie credits to her name at the time. Her nasty portrait of her character nearly steals the film
In the supporting cast, see Greta Grandtedt, Max Mantor, John Qualen, George Humbert, Allan Fox, and Marcia Mae Jones as Mary Hildebrand, one of the neighborhood children.
The entire tenement district set including the elevated station was built on the back lot of the United Artists Studio in Hollywood. If you look closely at the end of the street under the twin staircases that go up to the train station, you can see a huge painted backing to extend the street.
If you liked La Boheme screened on July 23 which is also directed by Vidor, you don’t want to miss this rare find from the 1030s.