7.4/10
1,242
17 user 17 critic

Die freudlose Gasse (1925)

Vienna in the biggest depression, directly after WW1. In a slum, Lila Leid, the wife of lawyer Leid is murdered, Egon, secretary of one of Leid's clients is arrested. He was with her, and ... See full summary »

Director:

Georg Wilhelm Pabst (as G.W. Pabst)

Writers:

Hugo Bettauer (based on the novel by), F.H. Lyon (translator)
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Childhood friends are torn apart when one of them marries the woman the other once fiercely loved.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: John Gilbert, Greta Garbo, Lars Hanson
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An architect tries suppressing his passion for a seductive woman.

Directors: Fred Niblo, Mauritz Stiller
Stars: Greta Garbo, Antonio Moreno, Marc McDermott
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Gösta Berling is a young and attractive minister. Because he is an alcoholic and his preaches are far too daring, he is finally defrocked. He leaves the town in disgrace and arrives at ... See full summary »

Director: Mauritz Stiller
Stars: Lars Hanson, Sven Scholander, Ellen Hartman-Cederström
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An attractive Russian spy seduces an Austrian officer in order to get some important plans, but when she actually falls in love with him, both of them are placed in a dangerous situation.

Director: Fred Niblo
Stars: Greta Garbo, Conrad Nagel, Gustav von Seyffertitz
Love (1927)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A married woman compromises her social standing and family life when she falls for a young officer.

Directors: Edmund Goulding, John Gilbert
Stars: John Gilbert, Greta Garbo, George Fawcett
Torrent (1926)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young girl and her father are kicked out of their house by a cruel noblewoman, and the girl's heart is broken when her sweetheart, the noblewoman's son, won't go to Paris with them. After... See full summary »

Director: Monta Bell
Stars: Ricardo Cortez, Greta Garbo, Gertrude Olmstead
Anna Christie I (1930)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young woman reunites with her estranged father and falls in love with a sailor, but struggles to tell them about her dark past.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, Charles Bickford, George F. Marion
The Kiss (1929)
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An unhappily married woman is caught up in scandal and murder when her affection toward a young man is misinterpreted.

Director: Jacques Feyder
Stars: Greta Garbo, Conrad Nagel, Anders Randolf
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When two childhood sweethearts are kept from marrying, misery ensues.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Lewis Stone
Wild Orchids (1929)
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A prince in Java tries to seduce his visitor's wife, but he's discovered.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Greta Garbo, Lewis Stone, Nils Asther
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A Polish countess becomes Napoleon Bonaparte's mistress at the urging of Polish leaders, who feel she could influence him to make Poland independent.

Directors: Clarence Brown, Gustav Machatý
Stars: Greta Garbo, Charles Boyer, Reginald Owen
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

After falling pregnant to a pharmacist and refusing to marry, a young woman is thrown from her home and sent to a scrict girls' reform school.

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Stars: Louise Brooks, Josef Rovenský, Fritz Rasp
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Asta Nielsen ... Maria Lechner
Greta Garbo ... Greta Rumfort
Ágnes Eszterházy ... Regina Rosenow (as Agnes Esterhazy)
Werner Krauss ... Metzger von Melchiorstrasse
Henry Stuart Henry Stuart ... Egon Stirner
Einar Hanson ... Lt. Davis
Gregori Chmara ... Kellner
Karl Etlinger Karl Etlinger ... Max Rosenow
Ilka Grüning ... Frau Rosenow
Jaro Fürth Jaro Fürth ... Hofrat Rumfort
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dorothea Thiele Dorothea Thiele ... Lia Leid
Edit

Storyline

Vienna in the biggest depression, directly after WW1. In a slum, Lila Leid, the wife of lawyer Leid is murdered, Egon, secretary of one of Leid's clients is arrested. He was with her, and had her necklace, because he needed some money for his own stock exchange deals. The same deal brings poverty to ex-government official Rumfort, his daughter Greta, who also has lost her job, tries to get some money to get food. She rents a room of the flat she, her young sister and her father are living in to an American Red Cross official, who pays $60 rent, but the money is taken by some of her father's creditors. But their neighbour, shop owner Mrs Greifer knows how to "help", she and Mrs. Merkel are running a nightclub with a brothel... Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

22 March 1926 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

A bánatos utca See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sofar-Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1981 restored) | | (copy with English titles at Brussels Musée du Cinéma) | | | | (2012 print of the Filmmuseum München 1989-2009 restoration) | (edited)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Throughout her life, Asta Nielsen (Maria Lechner) always said that she failed to see the attraction and talent of Greta Garbo (Greta Rumfort). See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1997 the film was digitally remastered by the Filmmuseum Munich. It also got a new music score. See more »

Connections

Featured in Lulu in Berlin (1984) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Sorrows of Joyless Street
15 July 2006 | by DiosprometheusSee all my reviews

The Sorrows of "The Joyless Street"

Director Georg Wilhelm Pabst's "The Joyless Street" is one of the most censored and mutilated films in history. The film premier on May 18, 1925 in Berlin. The film was a sensation and launched the new reality movement in German film-making.

The film was based on Hugo Bettauer's 1924 serialized novel. The film version would propel Greta Garbo to international fame.

Bettauer would never see the premier of the film based on his novel. On March 26, 1925, Beattauer was dead. Otto Rothstock, a national socialist thug, had shot him to death. Bettauer had ironically written a highly controversial dystopian satirical novel, called "A City Without Jews, A Novel About The Day After Tomorrow." The novel was about the expulsion of the Jews from Austria. Had he lived, Bettauer would have seen his fictitious world become a prophetic reality in 1938.

The original version of "The Joyless Street" was a dark study of life in hyper-inflation Vienna in the wake of the Great War. It was about poverty and despair in a defeated country. In the original film, as in the book, Pabst set out to tell the story how inflation destroyed the sundry spectra of society and led to people to live lives of impoverishment, desperation and despair. Pabst would tell his story through the lives of two main characters, Marie and Greta. Nielson would play Marie, a poverty stricken character with a brutal and cruel father who would prostitute herself for the man she loves but who despises her. Garbo would play Greta, the daughter of a foolish and sickly middle class bureaucrat, would would resist the temptation of easy money and prostitution.

The film shocked European governments. England banned the film from public viewing. Italy, France, Austria and elsewhere would show the film only after it had been considerably mutilated.

Americans thought that the only value of the film was the presence of Greta Garbo. Curiously, Garbo was paid in American dollars rather than worthless German ones.

As a result, most of the available versions of this film were cut to make the international sensation Great Garbo the star the film over the top billed Asta Nielson, who played a woman driven to murder.

Over the years, Nielson's leading part in the film will almost entirely vanish like the Jews in Bettauer's novel.

Garbo was the second lead to the once legendary Asta Nielson.

Most of the story line involving Asta Nielson's character Maria Lechner was cut out of the film.

Most of the story line involving Warner Krauss' abhorrent butcher of Melchoir Street was cut out of the film.

Other story lines, involving other characters, were cut out or toned down.

International censorship removed these segments long ago. They were deemed too controversial and too dangerously political.

When the film was released in America in 1927, Asta Nielson's character was edited out except for a brief part at the beginning.

In 1937, this version was re-released with synchronized music and sound effects. It is this terrible version people have most likely seen.

The result of this censorious butchery a sappy happy Hollywood like ending where an American saves Greta from a life of hunger, misery and prostitution replaced the human tragedy that Pabst was intent on showing in "The Joyless Street".

Rumors persist that Marlene Dietrich had a part in this film. There is no evidence that she ever had a role in this film.

The German actress Herta Von Walther played the part of the woman in Butcher's line who comforts Greta when she collapsed. In the original version, Herta had a bigger part that involved prostituting herself to the Butcher.

Herta Von Walther is forgotten today, but she made four films with director Georg Wilhelm Pabst between the years 1925 and 1928. The four are "The Joyless Street", "Secrets of a Soul", "The Love of Jeanne Ney", "Abwege".

There is no record of director Georg Wilhelm Pabst having ever made any films with Marlene Dietrich. Still the rumors persist.

In 1999, the Munich Filmmuseum partially restored this this film. A 16 mm reduction positive exists in the museum.

Today, the film is mostly remembered as the last European role the timorous, timid Greta Garbo played before coming to America with her mentor Maurice Stiller. In the January 1932 edition of Photoplay magazine, Ruth Biery wrote, "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer paid her $250 a week to secure him for the movies. It is hard to say, "The Joyless Street" is a good or poor picture in its mutilated form but it did not harm Greta Garbo.


17 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed