The Joyless Street (1925) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Joyless Street (1925)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

This film is an unvarnished study of post-WWI Vienna. Plagued with skyrocketing inflation, the Austrian metropolis becomes the domain of every scurrilous form of profiteering. The central character is a crooked butcher whose negative influence dominates the lives of virtually everyone on a single Viennese street.

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Greta Garbo
as Greta Rumfort
Asta Nielsen
as Maria Lechner
Valeska Gert
as Mrs. Greifer
Jaro Fürth
as Rumfort
Einar Hansen
as Lt. Davy
Loni Nest
as Rosa Rumfort
Max Kohlhase
as Maria's Father
Silvia Torf
as Maria's Mother
Alexander Mursky
as Dr. Leid, a lawyer
Rob Garrison
as Don Alfonso Cafiez
Karl Etlinger
as Mr. Rosenow [or Loming]
Ilka Gruning
as Mrs. Rosenow
Sylvia Torf
as Maria's Mother
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Critic Reviews for The Joyless Street

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (3)

The picture has minor virtues and major defects.

Full Review… | November 12, 2007
Top Critic

It later came as a major revelation, both when compared with Pabst's later work and in the context of the development of a film narrative able to accommodate a large number of characters.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Despite Garbo, it's heavy going -- an official classic that hasn't quite earned the title.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

about the consequences of desperate poverty and decadent wealth

July 21, 2006

As the film cuts between scenes of wretched poverty and luxurious excess, Pabst's imagery and Garbo's magnetic presence more than make up for a rather weak drama.

Full Review… | May 24, 2003

Audience Reviews for The Joyless Street


Why this was packaged in the Cult Classics collection by Mill Creek Entertainment, I do not know, but I'm glad they did because this silent film is quite a treasure to stumble upon, even though it's the very short hour long version. I found it to be a beautiful and compelling silent film with an interesting story and characters as they struggle with life in post-World War I Vienna. While I wish a longer version was more widely available, it should say something about a film's quality when even in its shortest form, it's still a damn good film. If you enjoy a good silent film, you should pick up Joyless Street because it is a lost treasure waiting to be rediscovered.

Keenan Sullivan
Keenan Sullivan

*** (out of four) A beautifully filmed and tragic silent film that marked the screen debut of one of history's greatest stars...Great Garbo. She is less glamourous than we're used to, but she has an undeniable screen presence. It's hard to keep your eyes off her. She is the film's main attraction. Garbo and Asta Nielsen play two young women who come from respectable, but very poor familes. In order to survive and to help themselves eat, the two young women sell themselves into prostitution. Dismal and depressing, it is also quite memorable.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

garbo is one of many stars in this international drama of squalor in post-world war i berlin. garbo's role is grete rumfort, a young woman faced with the prospect of becoming a prostitute in order to survive.

darryl clark
darryl clark

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